Older people 'less careful about scams'

computer keyboard keys with...
computer keyboard keys with...

Older people are generally vigilant about personal security, but less careful about the danger of becoming caught up in scams, according to a new survey.

Some 86% of people aged 55 or over always check they have locked the door before leaving the house, and just over 70% make sure they have not been short changed after a cash purchase, the research found.

However a quarter of those surveyed by Santander admit they do not always check their online bank account for unusual payments, 27% admit they do not always shield their PIN at the cashpoint, while a third say they would share their personal details over the phone. Only one third (32%) say they have taken steps to safeguard against fraud in the last 12 months.

The survey also found that one in five people aged 55 or over believe they have been victims of an attempted scam in the last 12 months.

Of those, 70% said they had received an email which they thought was a scam, 36% had been called by a potential fraudster and 13% had been sent a scam in the post.

More than a third (36%) admit they have no knowledge of how the most common types of scams work.

Karen Tyler, head of fraud at Santander, said: "Scams against individuals can be devastating, it is therefore so important that people are aware of the different types of scams and take steps to protect themselves.

"The research shows that many older people are worried about being targeted and we would strongly advise them to pick up one of our leaflets, visit our website or speak to our staff in branch."

This week Santander launches its annual initiative to raise awareness of some of the most common scams - in particular telephone fraud and the new spoofing technique, where a telephone number is "spoofed" to appear to be genuine. They also include pension liberation scams which have seen an increase since the new pension reforms came into effect in April this year.

New leaflets and magnetic advice cards will be available in branch, and staff will be given additional training to advise customers and help to prevent cases occurring.

:: Research was conducted for Santander by Opinion Matters in October. Some 1,013 UK adults aged 55 plus took part.

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