Carolyn Harris, MP for Swansea East, today met up with former Strictly Come Dancing Head Judge, Len Goodman, 73, to talk about a campaign he is fronting for Santander to address the issue of scams targeted at the over 60s.
Earlier this year, Len became the first graduate of Santander’s SAS (Scam Avoidance School), a free class offered all over the UK to help people avoid being taken in by scammers. The initiative was launched by the bank in March and since then around 800 classes have been held at branches and other local community centres across the UK, taking around 12,000 people through a syllabus of how to avoid online, impersonation, cashpoint and card cons.
The Scam Avoidance School was developed by Santander in partnership with fraud expert Dr Paul Seager, psychology lecturer at the University of Central Lancashire and followed research by Age UK highlighting how older people are one of the most at-risk groups for being scammed – upwards of five million over 65s have been targeted by scammers.
Additional research by Santander has revealed that 63 per cent of the over 60s in Wales are worried about the threat of scams and the overwhelming majority (86 per cent) in Wales believe more needs to be done to help their age group learn about scams to avoid having their money and identities stolen.
Aside from wanting to do all he can to help other over 60s wise up to the tricks employed by scammers, Len Goodman was first to sign up to the SAS given his personal experience of fraud when his daughter-in-law lost around £16,000.
‘Len’s Learns’ for avoiding cha-cha-chancers
On email scams (phishing):
- If you’ve had an email asking for your PIN, password or to move your money around? That’s got scam written all over it. A real bank or company wouldn’t ask you to do that. Steer well clear.
- Never, ever, ever give out personal or financial details unless it’s to use a service you’re sure is real and that you’ve signed up to personally!
- Never click on a link or download anything in a dodgy email. It might let scammers infect your computer or take it over!
On telephone scams (vishing):
- No one official will ever ask you to draw out money for them – if they do, tell the bank about it right away.
- If they make things seem urgent, try to rush you, and don’t let you chat to other family members, don’t trust ‘em!
- Trust your noggin – if they’re trying to get your personal details, talking you in to giving them remote access to their computer, asking you to make payments or if something just smells vishy, put the phone down, and report the call.
On cash point fraud:
- If the card slot looks too big, it could be a card skimmer.
- Keyboard mushy or clickety? A red flag for a fake keypad.
- Finally – always cover your PIN when you type it in!