How to avoid scams

PUBLISHED: 13:38 27 August 2008 | UPDATED: 22:15 15 June 2010

New research from Age Concern shows that people are increasingly worried about their older loved ones falling victim to a scam.

New research from Age Concern shows that people are increasingly worried about their older loved ones falling victim to a scam. Nine out of ten people in the South West think that older people are more at risk of scams now than in previous years, with78 per cent worried their older relatives or friends could fall victim to a scam.

Fraud is one of the fastest growing crimes in the UK, with vulnerable older people particularly at risk from fraudsters. Age Concern research shows that 75 per cent of people in the South West - the highest in the country - have seen an increase in the amount of scam letters and emails they receive in the last two years. Half of the population is targeted by fraud each year with victims losing £3.5 billion annually.

In response to increasing concerns about scams Age Concern has published a new book - How to Avoid Scams -a practical guide on how to help protect yourself and your friends and family from fraudsters. Written by consumer-rights champion Tony Levene, it can help ensure your name isn't added to the list of fraud statistics.

With the growth of internet use and international telephone links we are all increasingly at risk of scams. Anyone can be a victim of fraud but unlike other crimes they will receive minimal support from the police and no payouts from insurance companies. How to Avoid Scams can arm you with the knowledge of what to look out for and what to do when you spot a scam.

Author and scams expert Tony Levene, said: "We are increasingly barraged with scams via email, the post, the internet and phone. Many people feel they could never be scammed, yet millions of people become victims. You stand practically no chance of getting your money back if you are scammed - so the best course of action is to be as prepared as possible. How to Avoid Scams provides you with the knowledge to stop yourself becoming another rip-off statistic and could save you thousands of pounds."

Gordon Lishman, Director General of Age Concern, said: "We know that many older people, their friends and relatives, are worried about scams. People of any age can fall victim to these cons, but unfortunately unscrupulous fraudsters often target older people. Our new book offers helpful tips and advice to help make sure that you know what to look out for and what to do if you do find yourself a victim of a scam."

The chances of getting your money back on a scam are virtually zero. So at £9.99 plus £1.99 p&p How to Avoid Scams could be a very worthwhile investment. To order your copy contact Age Concern Books on 0870 4422 120.

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