Nearly one-third of elderly fraud victims have been too embarrassed to tell their own families or friends, what happened to them, the researchers say.
A report from the Centre for the fight Against Fraud Studies warns against the “stigma” felt by the elderly about to be deceived, including online scams.
He warns that people over 65 are three times more likely to lose money to fraudsters than to be the victim of a burglary.
The victim of the fraud, Dolores Walker, aged 93, said it made her feel “ashamed”.
She said she has talked to anyone “about my experience with scammers”, in which she had been tricked into giving the details of the card.
“In the end, I just stopped answering the phone altogether in the hope that they would leave me alone.”‘The anger, the stress and embarrassment’
The report of the Centre for the fight Against Fraud Studies at Portsmouth University and the older persons support service Reassura, said the increase in seniors using the internet has brought more risk of fraud.
In the 65-to 74-year age group, the study says that people are 54 times more likely to be a victim of fraud or scams by computer that they are to be physically stolen.
Prof mark button, director of the fraud center for studies, estimated that about 10% of the $ 3.2 million in annual fraud committed against the elderly.
The most common are identity theft, inflated or false expenses for services and online shopping scams.
But the report warns against fake charities, fraud, false sweepstakes, dating scams, health care fraud and false statements for debt.
Many elderly people have been facing multiple fraud attempts and scams that can lead them to be defrauded of tens of thousands of pounds.
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The research indicates that older people may be left with feelings of anger, stress, pain, ridicule and embarrassment” from their experiences of fraud, leaving them isolated and afraid.
It warns that the fear of fraud is to contribute to the “loneliness epidemic” in the face of the elderly.
Ms. Parker lost money to a telephone fraud, with a crook try to overload a service, and then take the money from her when she gave him the details of the card.
His reaction had been to keep it secret.
“I realize now that I was isolating myself from my own family. While it was not easy, I would have liked to have talked to someone earlier problems that I had.”The feeling of shame”
Ms. Parker’s experience prompted his son-in-law, Mark White, to put in place a support service for the elderly, Reassura, to give a second opinion and advice for the elderly in situations where they fear they could be deceived.
He said that older people needed to see talk as a means of prevention of fraud and “not a sign of weakness”.
“That the victims of the fraud are most reluctant to talk about the issue is to tell the taboo around the fraud term and long-term feelings of shame and embarrassment they unfairly face”, says Mr White.
Prof Button said that it could be much more unrecognized fraud.
“A number do not want to accept the fact that they are a victim, some don’t even realize that it is a fraud,” he said.
“People do not like to feel that they have been deceived.”
He told me that “generational politeness” could prevent people from stopping to engage with the fraudsters, who could be deliberately targeting the elderly.