Imagine having to tell family or friends that you’ve been victim to a financial scam? Admitting you’ve put your trust in someone who then rips you off can be embarrassing.
Victims of scams may be unwilling to accept that they have been scammed and often want to hide that they’ve been targeted from those closest to them. For them, it may feel like the easiest solution is to keep the problem to themselves, leaving them feeling increasingly isolated.
If you suspect your loved one has been victim of a scam it can be difficult to speak to them about your concerns but there are ways to broach the situation.
Starting the conversation
It’s hard to know for sure if someone’s been targeted by fraudsters, so it’s a good idea to be mindful when voicing your concerns. To open the conversation, perhaps show them a recent story in the news, or a fact that you’ve discovered to introduce the topic.
It’s important that the victim feels they can open up to you and they feel that they aren’t being judged. Listen and offer practical solutions such as getting in touch with the Mail Preference Service to lower the amount of junk mail they receive.
Patience is a virtue
Put yourself in your loved one’s shoes, how would you feel if you were in their position? Your loved one is not the first and most certainly won’t be the last person to fall victim to a scam so it’s important they know they’re not alone. Let them know scams can and do happen to all kinds of people from the financially savvy to those who are more vulnerable.
Keep the exchange as informal as possible and try not to ask too many questions so it doesn’t feel like an interrogation. If needs be, you can always return to the conversation at a later time.
Encourage the victim to report this crime to prevent others from falling prey to the same tactics. Take care not to pressure them to contact the authorities, but simply offer information and let them decide what action they take next.
It’s a good idea to tell close friends and family what’s happened, both to warn them of the dangers of financial scams, but also so that the victim gets support and feels a little less alone.
Helping you understand your money and improve your financial capability is a priority for us at Royal London, which is why we’ve created our Good With Your Money guides. If you want to read more about the topic of financial scams, you can read our full guide here.
- Scams should be reported to: Action Fraud: https://www.actionfraud.police.uk/ Tel: 0300 123 2040
- The Trading Standards department at your local authority can provide support in terms of supplying call blockers or removing mail. They can also let you know if your loved one has been included on any so called “suckers lists” which means they are likely to get targeted by other fraudsters in the future.
- You can sign up for the Telephone Preference Service here: https://www.tpsonline.org.uk/tps/index.html
- The Mail Preference Service can be used to reduce the amount of mail received: https://www.mpsonline.org.uk/
- Citizens Advice Consumer Service offer advice about scams: https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/ Tel: 03454 04 05 06
- The Pensions Advisory Service can offer guidance for those affected by pension scams: https://www.pensionsadvisoryservice.org.uk/ Tel: 0300 123 1047
- Charities such as Think Jessica offer valuable support for elderly people and their families who have been targeted by scam mails and calls: http://www.thinkjessica.com/
- Age UK can also offer support: https://www.ageuk.org.uk/