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Sunday 16th June 2019

Dementia sufferers targeted by con artists

15th December 2011

The Alzheimer’s Society has warned that some 15% of people with dementia have been victims of financial abuse.

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The charity says they have suffered from cold calling, scam mail or mis-selling.

It comes as a report from City of London Police said that financial abuse could lead to premature death for some vulnerable people.

The police document said: “Some are so socially isolated that they continue to give money to criminals, even when they realise what is happening, just to maintain some form of human contact.”

In attempting to gain a clearer picture of the extent of financial abuse of the elderly, the Alzheimer’s Society spoke to 104 carers and 47 people with dementia, as well as focus groups with nursing staff, social workers, and other professionals.

It found that 62% of carers said the person they cared for had been approached by cold callers or salespeople on the doorstep, and 70% had been targeted by telephone cold callers.

Chief executive Jeremy Hughes said: “We are merely scratching the surface of the frightening hidden depths of financial abuse.

“Too often, con artists are dealing another body blow to people who already face high care costs and a society that fails to understand their needs.”

The society is creating a training programme for financial service providers but has also urged families to discuss money management, consider the power of attorney, speak to their local bank manager about difficulties, and stop junk mail.

Work has also been carried out by trading standards officers to raise awareness of the issues.


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