Nick Smith MP is backing the campaign to stop the scammers this May and help protect people in their homes and on their doorsteps.
The Blaenau Gwent MP is adding his support to Age Cymru’s Scams Awareness Month, which is aiming to protect some of our most vulnerable people in society.
Figures from the Office of Fair Trading estimate scammers take £3.5bn from their victims every year, with the average victim losing £1,200.
With estimates that only 5% of scamming incidents are reported, Mr Smith said everyone needs to know the risks so they can protect their loved ones and themselves.
“From cowboy builders to pushy salespeople and mystics to fake lotteries, there are plenty of people out there wanting to separate you from your money”, he said.
“They prey on fears or hopes, and just one incident can have a devastating effect on someone’s finances or well-being.
“In the weeks to come I’ll be supporting this campaign, talking to people on the doorstep in Blaenau Gwent and doing what I can to draw awareness to this problem.
“I urge everyone to promote the campaign and be aware of the dangers of scammers on their doorstep or on the phone.”
Gerry Keighley from Age Cymru said: “Many older people who are scammed lose their life savings, their self-esteem, dignity and even their will to live.
“Families can be devastated as some older people end up trusting the scammers more than their own relatives.
“Age Cymru’s ‘Scams and swindles’ campaign is calling for greater protection to be provided for older people from scams by the communication companies used by the criminals to facilitate their scams.”
For more information on Scams Awareness Month, visit www.agecymru.org.uk/scamsandswindles
Age Cymru are calling for the following:
• Royal Mail protocols to be changed to allow its staff to offer advice and report suspicious mail when they suspect someone is being scammed. Legislation to be amended by the UK Government to allow this.
• Telephony companies to offer more protection against scam phonecalls, especially from abroad, and to close down lines from offenders.
• Internet service providers to increase protection against spam/scam e-mails with higher security levels, plus blocking access to known offenders.
• The Welsh Government and Welsh local authorities to consider dramatically increasing the number of No Cold Calling Zones to protect older people from unscrupulous rogue traders and doorstep scams and make them legally enforceable.