More than two-fifths of older people believe they have been targeted by scammers, with single people more likely to be tricked than their married counterparts, according to a new study.
Some 43% of over-65s think they have been targeted. Of those who had previously been targeted by scammers, 16% of single older people paid them money, compared with 6% of those who were married.
Single people were also more likely than married people to have provided scammers with their personal information, the research from Age UK found.
The findings coincide with Scams Awareness month in July, organised by Citizens Advice and Trading Standards Services.
Two-thirds (64%) of those targeted by scammers did not report it to an official channel, with well over a third (36%) only confiding in friends and family, and more than a fifth (22%) admitting they did not tell anyone at all because they felt too embarrassed.
Phishing (such as scam emails) was the most common scam in the survey, followed by vishing or verbal communication, rogue traders and card fraud.
Caroline Abrahams, charity director at Age UK, said: "Everyone has the right to feel comfortable, safe and secure at home, yet there are an increasing number of sophisticated scams designed to cheat people of their money, empty their bank account or steal their identity.
"We are urging all older people, and their friends and families, to be vigilant and get up to speed on how to avoid scams.
"If there is any doubt about the authenticity of an offer or piece of correspondence, do not respond and report it to the authorities immediately."
Age UK offers free information and advice for anyone who is worried about being scammed, including free guides.
It has more help at www.ageuk.org.uk/money-matters/consumer-advice/scams-advice.
More than 1,300 people aged 65-plus took part in the survey across Britain.