Money Wellness
category iconmanaging your money
calendar icon08 Apr 2024

Elderly fraud victims losing £1 million a day, Liberal Democrats reveal

Across the UK, over 65s are losing £1.2 million to fraud every day. The figures were revealed through a Freedom of Information request by the Liberal Democrats to Action Fraud, covering all fraud cases where the victim was 65 or older over the past four years. In total, £1.7 billion has been lost.

 The party has called for an urgent strategy to protect elderly and vulnerable victims from scams.

 Since the beginning of 2019, more than 212,000 cases of fraud against pensioners happened.

 Each elderly victim on average has lost a £8,314. This is higher than fraud cases against victims of all ages, with ONS statistics showing that

only 9% of fraud victims overall had a loss of £1,000 or more. 

Importantly, the analysis also shows that elderly fraud is on the rise, jumping from 36,105 recorded cases in 2019 up to 57,430 cases in 2022 – which would be equal to over 157 elderly fraud victims a day.

The party is demanding that the Government urgently publish its Fraud Strategy after months of delays. They are also calling for the creation of an Online Crime Agency that would coordinate work across the country on tackling online fraud. 

 Liberal Democrat Home Affairs Spokesperson Alistair Carmichael MP said: “Elderly people are facing a tidal wave of scams, as callous criminals target them for their hard-earned cash. Yet too often, the despicable fraudsters who target vulnerable pensioners are being let off the hook. With pensioners losing over £1 million to fraud each day, the cost of delay is unacceptable.”

 To beat the scammers, we’ve broken down all of the ways you can recognise a scam when it happens, and how to avoid it.

How to report scams

It’s a good idea to report a scam – even if you’ve got your money back – as it can prevent it happening to someone else.

Don’t be embarrassed about reporting a scam – scammers are clever and anyone can fall for a scam.

You can report the scam to Citizens Advice who pass all the information on to Trading Standards and they’ll decide whether to investigate or not. Depending on what they find, they can take legal action against the scammers or stop them operating.

All scams should also be reported to Action Fraud, the UK’s national reporting centre for fraud.

Action Fraud can get the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau to investigate scams. They’ll also give you a crime reference number, which can be helpful if you need to tell your bank you’ve been scammed. You can report a scam to Action Fraud at actionfraud.police.uk or call 0300 123 2040

If you receive a scam email, you should forward it to [email protected]. It will go to the National Cyber Security Centre and might stop other people being scammed.

Online scam adverts should be reported to the Advertising Standards Authority. You may also be able to report an advert directly to the platform hosting it e.g. Google, Facebook and Instagram.

Avatar of Lydia Bell-Jones

Lydia Bell-Jones

With a background in banking, Lydia has been writing professionally for over five years. She is passionate about helping people improve their personal finances and has a particular interest in the connection between money and mental health.

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