You might have seen my blog post about supporting Take Five and specifically their Take Five Week. They have been very busy spreading useful information about how to spot scams to help prevent people from becoming victims of financial fraud. One of the big parts of this campaign is encouraging people to warn others about potential scams by Taking Five to Tell Five. So I have done just that and in this post, I will be sharing the questions I put to a group of over 65-year-olds about spotting potential scams and getting their thoughts.
The idea behind this blog post is to see what the level of knowledge over 65’s have about recognising scams. This can be quite a susceptible age group so I am trying to find out how much they know and if they have been victims of a scam before as well as if they have spotted and avoided any in the past.
I asked the following five questions to five people over 65. I also asked them to provide a little bit of information about themselves which I will include before each of their responses.
- Do you think people over 65 are a vulnerable target for fraudsters?
- Have you, or anyone you know, experienced a scam before? If so, please give any details.
- Have you spotted and prevented a scam before? If so, please provide details.
- Take this test from a device (mobile, tablet, laptop, pc) and let me know the results.
- Do you think more people need to be made aware of the different scams and how to spot them? Are you happy to spread the word by sharing this website?
Interview 1: Carol
Carol is 71 years old. Before having a family she worked as a Personal Assistant. When her sons were both at school she started doing Market Research which she did for over 30 years, covering all aspects of market research.
- Yes, possibly because they don’t have much knowledge about technology etc as younger people do.
- I did suspect one cousin may have been and another definitely had been.
- Possibly I might have done. I immediately checked with my son what to do and he usually said to ignore and therefore delete. I just avoided contact as much as possible.
- I did the test and my results were 7 out of 8, so I only had question number 6, incorrect.
- Yes, definitely make more people aware of this topic and I will be happy to spread the information provided by Take Five.
Interview 2: Christopher
Christopher is 70 years old and is a retired professional Quality Engineer with a heavy engineering and automotive background.
- Yes in most cases but not in all. This is due to a lack of knowledge in computers and modern banking methods.
- No, I have not been scammed but I have avoided them by ignoring unusual phone calls etc. A cousin’s Facebook account was hacked.
- Yes, as mentioned above I have avoided suspicious requests. I was asked by a caller that apparently was from my internet provider for my login details as someone had hacked into my system so they can remotely operate my computer. I asked them if they thought I was stupid.
- I did the test and my results were 7 out of 8. I got number 6 incorrect.
- Yes, make people aware of scams. I don’t mind sharing information from Take Five.
Interview 3: John
John is 70 years old and is a self-employed property and financial investor and also former Post Office manager and auditor.
- Yes, I do think people over 65 years of age are vulnerable targets for fraudsters.
- No, I have never experienced a scam to date. I have heard of others who have but do not have the details.
- Yes, hoax phone calls and emails making out they represent various companies such as BT wanting you to give them your bank details for a service such as preventing nuisance calls. In fact, I had one today. Also, phone calls from abroad saying that they are from Microsoft and that your computer is under threat.
- I did take the test and got 8 out of 8 correct.
- Yes, I do think more people need to be aware of the various scams, especially the elderly, as they are targeted by numerous phone calls from abroad claiming to be someone they are not and trying to frighten them. They also choose specific times such as breakfast, lunch and teatime and quite frequently after 6.00 pm. And, yes, I would be quite happy to spread the word via the website.
Interview 4: Olive
Olive is 81 years old and lives with her husband Brian. With their son they run two grocery retail businesses with several employees.
- Yes. My husband had his credit card used only this week by someone making a payment of over £1000. Fortunately, the bank did not make the payment until they had spoken to him, confirming that it was a fraudulent use of his credit card.
- No, I have not spotted or prevented a scam.
- I did take the test and got only 6 out of 8.
- Yes to make more people aware and yes, I will be happy to spread the word.
Interview 5: Mary
Mary is 70 years old, is married and is a retired primary school teacher
- Definitely yes. Technology has moved ahead quickly during our older years.
- My computer was infected with a virus. This laptop was completely ruined. I lost everything.
- Someone I accepted on Facebook, because, not realising I should know him personally, began to chat nicely, but after a few days was asking me for money. I deleted him.
- I did take the test and got 5 out of 8. I got questions 3, 6 and 8 wrong. I did not spot the correct message from the bank three times.
- Yes definitely make more people aware and Yes, I will spread this website.
It is interesting to see how 5 people over 65 years old agreed that their age can make them vulnerable to fraud making them a huge target for scammers. One mentioned that the times they tend to call are normally the most inconvenient to make it easier for then to scam you.
Everyone I spoke to seemed to highlight scams over the phone which is known as ‘Vishing’. I thought this was very interesting to point out as there are many other ways you can be scammed. For example, via a text message known as ‘Smishing’ or via an email which is known as ‘Phishing’.
They all took this test which I also recommend you to do too so you can test your own knowledge, especially if you think you are too smart to be scammed. You will be surprised. You might not be able to spot all the answers correctly. And even if you do, it is a good way to remind you how to spot a scam to prevent fraud.
They are all very positive about making more people aware of ways to avoid fraud and they were all very happy to help spread the word using the Take Five website. This tells you that this is a subject that needs more attention and the more people that know about it, the more we can spot a scam and stop a potential fraud from happening. There are certain groups that need much more attention like the over 65s and the very young generation. Scammers take advantage because they are more naive.
PODCAST ABOUT TAKE FIVE AND FRAUD
Not long ago I took part in my first Podcast. I and a couple of other bloggers were invited by the lovely Alison Perry from Not Another Mummy Blog to have a chat about fraud on her very trendy Not Another Mummy Podcast. If you have a chance, listen to this podcast as it was interesting to see how we all felt about this topic. We were all invited to an event a few weeks before we recorded the Podcast so it was great to be able to chat about our experiences.
Finally, I would also like to ask that you please browse through the Take Five website as you will find lots of interesting and very useful information as well as a Scam Academy with some videos which will help you a lot in the future to identify potential scams.
Push payments and giving away personal information (known as Vishing)
- Fraud over the phone – or Vishing – is when a fraudster calls claiming they’re from your bank or some other trusted organisation.
- Five things to look out for on a phone that may indicate fraud
Text links (known as Smishing)
- A text might not be from who you think – Smishing is when criminals pretend a message is from your bank or another organisation you trust.
- Three signs a text message might not be genuine
Email scams (known as Phishing)
- Criminals don’t just try and contact you by phone and text, they also ‘phish’, contacting you by email too. So always be suspicious of unsolicited emails that are supposedly from your bank or some other trusted organisation because the address can easily be faked.
- Seven ways to spot an email you’ve been sent is fraudulent
Do you know anyone over 65 who has been a victim of fraud? Have you, or anyone you know, been a victim of any kind of scam? Have you spotted and prevented a scam before? If so, please let us know in the comments below.
*Disclosure: This is a collaboration with Take Five to Stop Fraud, however, all thoughts and opinions are my own.
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