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OFT aims to stop elderly being scammed

OFT aims to stop elderly being scammed
4th February 2008

The elderly and the vulnerable are being targeted by scams which are ripping off consumers by approximately £3.5 million a year, it has emerged.

The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has declared that February will be this year's "Scams Awareness Month" and aims to deliver more information about how to avoid the mass marketed post, internet and telephone scams.

The campaign will specifically be aimed at highlighting the thousands of elderly people who are victims of cons such as fake lotteries and 'miracle' health cures.

According to the OFT, the elderly are twice as likely to be a victim of a scam as they are often over trusting and socially isolated.

Mike Haley, the OFT's director of consumer protection, said: "Scammers use sophisticated psychological techniques to target people who are often the most vulnerable in society.

"Those who fall for these scams not only lose their savings but often live in fear, suffering debt and depression and being too afraid to tell anyone of their plight."

Approximately £7.5 million of government funding will be used to fund "scambusting" teams in an attempt to put a stop to the surge in cons.

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