• Claire Cook

Carers guide to being scam aware

Unfortunately scams are part of life. On a good day, we're all capable of spotting one. But what about our bad days?


There is no shame in falling for a scam. They prey on people having a weak moment. And this is the problem. Many carers and the people we care for, are feeling weak right now. We're run down after a year of lock-down, shielding our cared-for and ourselves.


Our carers' priority poll shows a picture of alternating priorities. With 'concern for keeping our cared-for safe from the virus', being replaced by our 'our own stress and anxiety' the following month. It is a pattern we have seen repeated month after month.


It would be fair to say that many of us are depleted. Scammers know this. And it very much feels like the amount of scams doing the round has grown.


We hope this short guide to being scam savvy will help.



Six things we can do to be more scam savvy



1. Watch and share this video




2. Attend a Scams Training Event

Friends against scams run a 20 minute interactive scams training online activity, which you can access here.

https://www.friendsagainstscams.org.uk/training/friends-elearning?xCmd=start



3. Redirect Mail

If our cared-for is vulnerable and doesn't live with us, then we might want to consider arranging a mail redirect. With their consent, we can sign up to the Royal Mail’s paid-for redirection service to have their post delivered to ourselves, or another trusted friend or relative. Apply online at www.royalmail.com or at a Post Office branch.



4. Reduce unwanted phone calls

Blocking all unwanted calls and scam calls is very tricky, but there are things we can do to reduce the quantity.


Photo of a mobile phone laying on top of a keyboard. The caller display reads 'Unknown caller' and there is a button to select which reads "Block"



Firstly, do not consent to your phone number being shared with partner organisations (when a company is collecting your data). Often this is a small tick box to opt in or out. Be careful, as the wording can be rather vague. If in doubt, ask a trusted friend to read and confirm what you're agreeing to.





We can also sign up to the Telephone Preference Service (TPS) – The TPS won't unfortunately stop all scam calls, but it will reduce the amount of unwanted sales and marketing calls received. This is a free service, and we can sign up here or call 0345 070 0707. For more www.tpsonline.org.uk



5. Display a 'no cold calling' sign on our front door

Stickers are usually available from our councils, or this link take your to a printable version.

https://www.friendsagainstscams.org.uk/shopimages/no%20cold%20calling/sticker.pdf



6. Stay safe online

Many scams are via our computers, and presently we're hearing a lot about vaccine scams. Our Carers Guide to the Covid-19 vaccine, offers some specific advice on this scam.


Read and share:

https://www.mobiliseonline.co.uk/carers-guide-to-covid-19-vaccine


Our Digital Skills for Carers guide, gives further simple tips on staying safe online. Including



You can read more and share, here:

https://www.mobiliseonline.co.uk/digital-skills-for-carers




What to do if you think you've been scammed


1. Report it


2. Seek emotional support

Realising we have been scammed can have a really negative effect on our emotional wellbeing. Scammed people report feelings of shame and that they don't want other people to know.


It's really important to know that anyone can get scammed. Anyone. There is no shame in it.


If you have been the victim of a scam and would like to chat through how you're feeling or perhaps your next steps, then our carers' support team can help. You can book as many free 1:1 calls as you need, to set things right again.




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