The Courier & Advertiser (Perth and Perthshire Edition)
Carers urged to be alert to scammers
ALMOST A third of Scotland’s elderly carers believe that the people they look after have been targeted by scams.
A new report from online money transfer business Ukash claims that 30% of carers of elderly people in Scotland know a pensioner who has been targeted by fraudsters.
The figures were revealed in the wake of a new scam linked to PPI claims which hit Angus recently.
Ukash is urging the public to look out for their elderly relatives after an Angus man told The Courier a cold caller asked him to put £100 into a Ukash cheque before he could access an apparent PPI claim windfall.
Miranda McLean, marketing director at Ukash, said: “Criminals are taking advantage of the trusting nature of elderly people and using sophisticated scams in the hope they’ll hand over their cash or bank details.
“With high pressure tactics being used by the fraudsters, it is easy to understand why older people are being caught out.”
Friockheim resident Tam Carcary contacted The Courier last week after receiving an unsolicited call from a person purporting to represent the Claims Advisory Group (CAG) — a Manchesterbased firm that deals with PPI claims.
The CAG is a legitimate firm which is handling Mr Carcary’s claim for a PPI refund, but he was suspicious of the call after being told he would have to give a solicitor £100 in a Ukash cheque, bought from a local store, before his £2,455 windfall could be redeemed.
The CAG confirmed the claim number and return telephone number the Angus man had been given was bogus and he contacted the police.
Ukash has warned that fraudsters who prey on the elderly are using “ever more elaborate schemes” to trick people out of money, such as requesting non-card payment methods as a means of extorting money as well as asking for bank details.
“These scammers are very aware that older people are vulnerable and may be in financial difficulty, so they know that by offering the chance to reclaim a few thousand pounds’ worth of PPI compensation, they may be able to persuade the victim to pay an advance fee to secure their so-called services,” added Ms McLean.
“Ukash was designed to give consumers a simple and convenient way to make purchases without the need for a bank account or credit card.
“Carers of the elderly should advise them that Ukash vouchers should only be used online and with official merchants, which are listed on our website, www.ukash.com/ en-GB/partners.”