The Derbyshire Scam Watch is a project to raise awareness amongst older residents of the potentially harmful effects of massmarketing, internet, doorstep and telephone scams, and to provide one to one advice and support where potential scam/fraud victims are identified.
It is a partnership project led by North East Derbyshire Citizens Advice Bureau, working with Trading Standards, Derbyshire County Council and Age UK Derby and Derbyshire to deliver targeted home visits to scam victims, preventative outreach and promotion of prevention message. Local residents will be more aware of the potential harm from scams as a result of the publicity generated during the project.
Research has highlighted the following detriment to UK citizens from scams:
- £5 billion – the estimated amount lost each year by UK consumers to mass-marketed scams via phone and post.
- Nearly half of people in the UK (48 per cent) have been targeted by a scam
- Every year more than three million people in the UK fall victim to scams losing hundreds, sometimes thousands, even hundreds of thousands of pounds.
- Just five per cent of scams are reported.
- Losses to vishing (phone) scams more than trebled in 2014 from £7m to nearly £24 million, according to Financial Fraud Action UK; 58 per cent of people reported receiving suspicious calls.
- £495 million – the total cost of pension scams known to the Pensions Regulator
- £670 million – the total annual cost to victims of the top ten online scams.
Scams can defraud people of thousands of pounds but most importantly rob them of their self-esteem, confidence and trust. Victims of one scam are very likely to become repeat victims as fraudsters sell-on information about vulnerable people.
More information, articles and useful data can be found at www.derbyshirescamwatch.org.uk