Safeguarding: Becoming a victim of scam emails

Last week, I focussed upon the definition of a vulnerable adult. One particular group of people who may fall into this category are older people.

This past year of lockdown may have meant that some older people have barely left their homes. This enforced isolation may have been caused by a number of reasons. They may have received a letter asking them to shield. They may have been unable to leave their home due to illness or physical difficulties in leaving their home. They may have been too anxious to leave their home.

One aspect that many children with older parents are concerned about, especially during lockdown, is their parents susceptibility to becoming a victim of scam emails.

A leaflet that people may find useful to read is ‘The Little Book of Big Scams’ launched by the Metropolitan Police.



The following information comes from the Action Fraud website

‘The Little Book of Big Scams’ is a comprehensive guide on fraud prevention, explaining some of the most common scams in existence, ranging from the simple to the sophisticated, providing essential advice to reduce the chances of you being parted from your money.

The booklet is primarily aimed at the elderly and vulnerable in society as they are particularly at risk; but anyone who reads it will benefit. People from all backgrounds and income levels are targeted by scammers – anyone can fall victim to fraud.

The guide was launched by the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) alongside Esther Rantzen and Gary Fitzgerald, (CEO of Action on Elder Abuse).

MPS Commissioner, Bernard Hogan-Howe said: “My officers have seen the devastating effects scams can have on people and their families. This comprehensive guide will go a long way in helping to reduce the number of victims of fraud and will undoubtedly make it harder for the scammers of this world to succeed. There are a number of people out there intent on conning people out of their hard earned money, so I urge people to take caution when confronted with what appears to be a deal of a lifetime, remember if it seems too good to be true, it probably is.”

Journalist and TV presenter, Esther Rantzen said: “During my 40 years’ career in consumer protection, I discovered that conmen and women are so ruthless they simply see honest people as “walking wallets”, to be squeezed, emptied and discarded. Fraud can happen on your doorstep, by post, over the phone or via the internet. Sadly, new technology has provided scammers with even more ways of swindling trusting consumers. Thank goodness, and thanks to the police, we now have The Little Book of Big Scams to be our guardian and our guide.”

Gary Fitzgerald, CEO of Action on Elder Abuse said: “Scammers deliberately target the most vulnerable people in our society, preying on their honesty and trust, and deceiving them in the most cruel and devastating manner. But with some simple planning, outlined in this new booklet, it is possible to prevent these thieves from being successful and we therefore commend the work of the Metropolitan Police in producing it on World Elder Abuse Awareness Day. Working together we can end elder abuse.”