With Canberrans aged 55 years and over most likely to fall victim to scams, a proactive education and awareness program is now underway across retirement villages to teach residents the red flags to look out for.
Minister for Consumer Affairs Shane Rattenbury joined Access Canberra compliance officers at an information session at a retirement village in Downer to see the program underway last week.
Mr Rattenbury said that older people over 55 were responsible for around half the losses seen in Australia last year through scams.
“They are particularly vulnerable to things like online scams, fake charity appeals, lottery scams. They are more and more sophisticated and we want to make sure that older people, in particular, are aware of the types of scams and are protected to know what to look out for.”
“We are getting around retirement villages to tell people the types of scams that are out there and what are some of the red flags to look out for. The classic one is ‘If it seems to good to be true, it probably is’, but there are other markers that you can see in these types of operations, and we want to let people know what they are.”
$38.7 million was lost nationally by people aged over 55 years old due to scams last year.
“These residents may be more trusting, and may not be as technologically literate when encountering scams online or elsewhere,” Mr Rattenbury said. “Through this proactive program, our senior residents are provided with key information on how to identify, avoid and report scams as well as what they can do if they do fall victim.”
Access Canberra will visit 32 retirement villages between now and May.
Have you encountered one of these scams? Let us know about your experiences in the comments below.