Hundreds of elderly people being taken advantage of financially in North Somerset
PUBLISHED: 14:49 28 January 2017
Close to 300 older people in North Somerset are likely to be experiencing an unusual kind of abuse - something which a new campaign aims to eradicate.
As many as 1,468 people aged 65 or older living in the Avon and Somerset Constabulary area are thought to be experiencing financial abuse – with 292 of those people living in North Somerset.
Financial abuse includes fraud, forgery, embezzlement, the misuse of decision-making powers, internet scams and doorstep crime.
A new campaign by Action On Elder Abuse is designed to stamp out financial abuse, and has won the backing of Police and Crime Commissioner Sue Mountstevens.
Ms Mountstevens said: “Elder abuse is a big problem and one that often goes unreported.
“If you are being abused or you think an elderly friend, neighbour or relative is at risk, I would encourage you to act now and report it.”
The campaign encourages older people to check bank statements regularly, track receipts, reduce how much money can be withdrawn from their accounts at one time and ensure documents and valuables are kept out of sight.
Action On Elder Abuse chief executive Gary FitzGerald said: “Older people are particularly vulnerable to financial abuse and there are far too many people who seek to exploit them.
“Financial abuse can take many forms – it’s everything from carers or family pilfering money to phone scams and having power of attorney misappropriated.
“Very often, the perpetrator is someone close to the older person, such as a relative or carer.”
Action On Elder Abuse runs a confidential helpline offering advice on 08088 088141. It is open Monday to Friday from 9am-5pm.