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Suffolk and Essex residents warned after fraudsters target people in their own homes

PUBLISHED: 11:20 31 October 2017

Jo Reeder from AGE UK Suffolk says older people can be a target for scammers. Picture: SU ANDERSON

Jo Reeder from AGE UK Suffolk says older people can be a target for scammers. Picture: SU ANDERSON

People in Suffolk and north Essex are being warned to be vigilant after a series of fraudsters have tried trying to scam householders out of their money.

In recent attacks suspects have attempted to enter older people’s homes under a number of guises, including as utility workers and police officers.

In other instances suspect callers have pretended to be from the homeowner’s bank and have insisted people send money via a courier, who visits their home.

In many of these cases victims were in their late 80s or early 90s, but police are warning that everyone should be vigilant.

A Suffolk Constabulary spokesman said: “It is a sad fact that fraudsters typically target older people, particularly those who may be more vulnerable by living alone.

“However, it can affect all of us – regardless of your age, background or experience. We work with Trading Standards and are committed to helping communities protect themselves from fraud and the fear of fraud. Fraud affects communities county wide and Suffolk police is urging residents to remain vigilant and to look out for their neighbours who might be considered as ‘easy targets’.”

Essex Police has recently launched its Secure, Protect Prevent campaign which aims to advise local people on how to secure their homes and prevent crime from taking place.

Members of Age UK Suffolk and Age UK Essex have also added their voices to the call.

Jo Reeder, head of fundraising and marketing at Age UK Suffolk said: “Sadly, with more and more people having access to personal information in the public domain, we are hearing cases of older people, being targeted by hoax individuals and organisations.

“Older people can often be deemed an attractive target, especially those who are vulnerable and isolated, and may not know where to turn for advice.

“For general advice on how to stay safe in your home and protect yourself against possible scams, visit www.ageuk.org.uk/information-advice/money-legal/scams-fraud”

Gary Clinton, head of service for information, advocacy and advice at Age UK Essex added; “It’s about being careful. Don’t share details. Speak to friends, speak to family. Tell them what is going on. Phone the people at Crimestoppers.

“If you are worried speak up. ”

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