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Report highlights the problems of scammers for the elderly and vulnerable, and claims more needs to be done to protect them.

Too many older and vulnerable people, particularly those with dementia, are falling prey to doorstep, mail, telephone and investment scams, which is leaving them out of pocket.

A report by the Chartered Trading Standards Institute and Bournemouth University has said more needs to be done by banking and financial institutions to protect them because in many cases, they’re being misled, or don’t understand what they’re signing up to because they have dementia.

Professor Keith Brown from Bournemouth University says:

‘Those at risk are lonely older people, and specifically those with a cognitive impairment dementia who may be unable to safeguard themselves as a result of their health or social care needs.’

Trading Standards have identified three steps that banks should take to help protect people who may fall victim to scams, including:

1. Recognise that customers with dementia are more at risk of being scammed
This is because their cognitive state could mean they’re more likely to make unwise financial decisions. Banks have a duty of care to recognise this.

2. Banks should not store personal data unless they’ve ‘opted in’
Any information that is stored should only be kept for 12 months before the person is contacted again to check if they’re happy for them to continue holding this information.

3. Establish a 24-hour delay on large transactions
This would stop large amounts of money leaving a vulnerable person’s bank account. A carer or loved one (or someone who has set up Lasting Power of Attorney) would receive a text or email alerting them to the transaction so they could check up on their loved one.

The report also highlighted the lasting impact that scams can have, not just on the person with dementia or who is vulnerable, but for their family and friends, who may be left having to support the person financially if they can’t retrieve the money. It can also lead to them becoming financially dependent on the state as they may no longer be able to pay to care for themselves.

For more information on dementia and fraud (and to read one person’s experiences of it), click here.

Source: money.aol.co.uk