The average scam victim is 74 years old and the average loss is £4,500. Often this is much higher and has gone on for a prolonged time.
Society is viewing these people as doddery and foolish, whereas they are vulnerable and often lonely, which makes them easy prey for criminals. Some of those scammed, defrauded or stolen from are suffering from dementia or Alzheimer’s which adds to the ability of the scammer/thief to pass off any accusations as the victim being confused.
Trading standards experts are warning of a hidden epidemic of exploitation of the elderly, and fears are that the problem is more widespread than people think. More and more elderly are being cared for in their own homes.
We live in an institutionally ageist society where exploitation of the elderly is becoming routine.
20 years ago we would never have thought that someone in a care home would be abused, or that a carer would steal the person they are being paid to care for.
The perpetrator may not be a paid for carer, it could be a neighbour, friend or family member. The victims often have little choice but trust the person that comes in to their home to offer assistance, especially if they are not particularly mobile. A DBS or Enhanced CRB will only show up something if that person has been previously caught and convicted. Often the perpetrators move on as there is little or no proof of any wrong doing, which is where we come in.
If you suspect your relative is being abused, defrauded or stolen from we can help you gather the evidence.
I’m not saying do not trust people, there are some really good carers out there, but we have to face up to the fact that it can bring out the worst in some people.