People in the Western Isles aged over 70 are being urged this week to look out for scams which target their age group and which can lead to people losing thousands of £s.

Western Isles Citizens Advice Service says over-70s have the highest reported detriment from a wide range of scams, including cold callers using landlines, postal scams like ‘you have won a prize’ letters and doorstep scams like fake tradesmen. 

The CAB is urging people to be vigilant and sceptical of any offers that seem too good to be true, and to report any scams they do come across.

A WICAS spokesperson says: “This is in the third week of Scams Awareness Month, being run by the Citizens Advice Network, Age Scotland and Police Scotland. This campaign is for everyone, but this week we are focusing our message particularly on people over 70.  

“Research has shown that this age group is often hit by scammers who use landlines or the mail, or knock on their doors. We have seen some very distressing cases of older people losing their pension, or their life savings.  

“As always, it is not just the financial loss that is damaging. People who have had money taken from them by a scam often experience embarrassment and loss of confidence. 

“Our message to all people in the Western Isles area is that we need to work together to beat the scammers. Millions of pounds are lost every year to scams, and so much of this can be avoided if people were a little more sceptical and also if they talk more about scams. That’s how we can stop them targeting other people. 

“We urge people to follow our Top Tips below, and to spread the word about our campaign to friends and neighbours – particularly this week to those over 70.” 

  • Be wary of all tradespeople on your doorstep and thoroughly check their ID. Genuine traders won’t mind you being sceptical.
  • Be cautious when answering the phone to an unknown caller, or opening unexpected letters. 
  • If unsure of an offer or deal, don’t hand over any money or information. Ask your friends or family what they think. 
  • Always report scams to the police or to Trading Standards. That’s how we will stop them!

More information is available on https://twitter.com/CitAdviceScot and https://www.cas.org.uk/campaigns/scams-awareness-month-2018