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Elderly get help to protect themselves and be SAFER online
Older people in Airebrough and Wharfedale are being helped to protect themselves from scammers in an initiative launched by West Yorkshire Trading Standards.
The organisation is using funding from the Big Lottery to raise awareness of scams, frauds and rogue traders across the county. And it is planning hundreds of community workshops to help protect potential victims.
The SAFER (Scams and Frauds Education for Residents) will include a range of workshops to help increase knowledge and to give older people the confidence to deal with cold calling, scams and frauds.
West Yorkshire Trading Standards is stepping up the fight on behalf of vulnerable people against a backdrop of more than 1,000 complaints last year about itinerant traders, doorstep crime and scams such as fake Lottery wins, prize draws, bogus psychic predictions, investment cons and miracle health cures.
Most victims are older, vulnerable adults, and cases dealt with included a 95-year-old conned into buying two mattresses for £3,000 and an elderly resident who sent £50,000 to fraudsters after receiving more than 30,000 scam letters.
Over the next two years, the SAFER team will run more than 400 community workshops covering a range of topics including doorstep crime, scams and frauds, utility switching and financial health.
Graham Hebblethwaite, West Yorkshire’s Chief Trading Standards Officer, urged all local organisations and groups who support older adults in Leeds and Bradford to get in touch.
“The SAFER project will not only enable residents to feel confident in their communities and help protect themselves against itinerant traders and becoming the victim of scams, but it will also tackle the issues of fuel poverty and increase the health and wellbeing of older people,” he said.
Once enrolled onto a community workshop, residents will have access to the Debt Advice Worker attached to the project who will be able to provide free and confidential debt and money advice, as well as carry out benefits checks.
Older residents in Leeds and Bradford who are interested in attending community workshops, or other organisations wanting to get involved in the project should contact Lanson Moore at Trading Standards at email@example.com or by phone on (0113) 3939808.