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New Survey Shows That 400,000 Elderly Scots Targeted By Scammers

A recent survey conducted among the elderly in Scotland has revealed that more than 400,000 elderly people have been targeted by scammers. We also reported in May, Cifas released a report showing the number of UK Bank accounts which were being hacked had risen to double the amount in 2016.

Around 41.3 percent of people surveyed acknowledge being a target, and 9 percent of them said they had responded to a scam.

The survey conducted by Age Scotland and Age UK was on the occasion of the Scams Awareness Month and gathered responses with respect to the martial status of the respondents as well.

It found that around 27 percent of those single responded to scams as opposed to 9 percent of those married. Among those who had been previously targeted, 16 percent of single older people paid scammers money, compared to just 6 percent of married people.

That’s Oxfordshire

Around 22 percent of single responders admitted to having provided personal information while it was around just 2 percent among those married. Age was also another key factor influencing the responses. Those in the age group of 75 years and above were more likely to pay up the money or give out personal and confidential information to scammers.

Nearly 42 percent of them said that they had talked about being targeted by scammers to their friends and family but 25 percent stated that they hadn’t mentioned it to anyone since they were embarrassed. A majority of those who reported the scam labelled the experience as positive.

Age Scotland warned in its report that older people who live alone or with some form of cognitive impairment were at a much higher risk of being targeted. Lord Provost Ian Borthwick of Dundee City pointed out that elderly people were often trusting and anxious, leading to them accepting people at face value.

Apart from financial losses, scams also resulted in diminishing the quality of life for the elderly including a decline in their sense of well-being. They reported feelings of shame, embarrassment, social isolation and depression, apart from a drop in their physical health.

In a statement Keith Robson, chief executive of Age Scotland said

Scams can have a devastating emotional and financial impact on older victims, seriously damaging their quality of life and well-being. That anyone would target an older person to defraud them is abhorrent yet it happens all too often. We are urging all older people, and their friends and families, to be vigilant and get up to speed on how to avoid scams.

Robson urged everyone to report any offer or correspondence that seems suspicious or has cause to be considered fake.

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