This short guide has been produced to help people avoid being scammed and to help carers protect the elderly and vulnerable.

OFT Scam Video – Tricks of the Trade

This section is presented by Angela Rippon who warns consumers about lottery scams. Scammers tend to target the vulnerable such as the elderly, but not exclusively – 3 million people a year fall for these scams. Some are very sophisticated and scammers will often keep coming back for more. They use human psychology to their advantage: there is an irresistible prize that stops you from thinking logically; they often use the voice of authority such as the president of a bank; they use of fake testimonials; many of the prizes are personalised and there are often fake deadlines.

OFT Scam Video – Four Tips to Avoid Being Scammed

1. Don’t send money off straight away always talk it through with a friend.
2. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
3. You never have to send money off to claim a legitimate prize.
4. Never give people you don’t know your personal details, including bank account information.

OFT Scam Video – Protecting the Vulnerable

The support of carers is absolutely vital and your support is essential.

Warning signs:

1. The house is full of junk mail, perhaps 20-30 items received every day.
2. They have lots of cheap low quality goods and miracle health cures.
3. They are secretive about their finances.

What you can do about it:

1. Encourage them to get advice from CAB or Consumer Direct, speak to a friend or neighbour.

2. You can also get all their mail forwarded to a trusted neighbour or a member of the family.
3. You can get them to sign up for the Mail Preference Service (0845 703 4599) and the Telephone Preference Service (0845 070 0707). These will cut out a lot of the junk mail and unwanted calls.