Charity Age UK found that 2.9 million over 50s fear opening their doors for the same reason, with fraudsters often specifically targeting older people as they are perceived as more trusting and less technologically savvy.


Caroline Abrahams CBE, charity director at Age UK said: Many scammers are highly sophisticated criminals and it’s easy for anyone to be tricked by them. However, older people sometimes face a unique set of risk factors, including social isolation, limited digital literacy and cognitive impairments, that make them prime targets for fraudsters.”

However, scams are now so sophisticated that people of all ages fall victim to them every day. Here are some of the most common scams currently doing the rounds, to help you spot the warning signs.

Investment scams: Fraudsters will try to convince you to put your money into a fake investment, usually promising impressive returns. They may have set up a cloned website which looks identical to that of a legitimate investment firm. Sometimes investors will receive returns initially to persuade them to invest more money.

Banking trade body UK Finance reports investment scams at over £2m per week and Metro Bank has already seen over £4m fraud this year. “These are some of the hardest and most sophisticated scams to detect because of the large amounts of money at stake,” said Baz Thompson, Metro Bank’s Head of Fraud & Investigations. “Investors need to be super cautious as scammers will go to extraordinary lengths to persuade, entice and defraud investors using sophisticated techniques from fake websites to posing as financial advisers to create credible investment scenarios.”

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Ticket scams: Scammers will post fake adverts on social media saying they’ve got concert tickets to sell, usually for events that were sold out months ago. They will ask you to transfer money before they supposedly send you the tickets, but then disappear without trace, with no tickets ever materialising.

For example, according to Lloyds Bank, since Taylor Swift tickets went on sale in July last year for her ‘Eras’ tour, more than 600 customers have come forward to report being scammed, far more than for any other music artist. The average amount lost by each victim was £332, though in some cases it was more than £1,000.

Liz Ziegler, fraud prevention director at Lloyds Bank, said: It’s easy to let our emotions get the better of us when we find out our favourite artist is going to be performing live, but it’s important not to let those feelings cloud our judgement when trying to get hold of tickets.

“Buying directly from reputable, authorised platforms is the only way to guarantee you’re paying for a genuine ticket. Even then, always pay by debit or credit card for the greatest

protection. If you’re being asked to pay by bank transfer, particularly from a seller you’ve found on social media, that should immediately set alarm bells ringing.”

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Impersonation scams: This type of scam has risen by 13% in the past year, according to Lloyds Bank data, with the most dramatic spike seen in police officer impersonations.

John Clark, product manager at takepayments, said: “Scammers are currently relying on the authority the police force hold to impersonate officers from the fraud department and contacting people, either by text or phone call, to let them know about false fraudulent activity on their bank account.

“The scammer will then try and convince the victim to share personal information, such as bank details, over the phone so they can steal their money. In some extreme cases, scammers have even claimed that a victim’s family member is in custody and their bail must be paid.”


If you think you might have been targeted by a fraudster, contact your bank immediately if you’ve handed over any money, and report it to Action Fraud online here or by calling 0300 123 2040.