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Watch out for retail and investment scams - Turn2us

Turn2us financial scams information sheetOlder people and their families are being warned by the Insolvency Service - supported by Age UK, Alzheimer's Society and Action on Elder Abuse, to watch out for bogus retail and investment schemes aimed at them.

Figures show that 78 rogue companies, that made £28 million from the public, have been shut down in England and Wales in the last three years. These companies 'scammed' close to 2,000 investors between April 2009 and March 2012. The oldest person affected was 92 years.

The products that these companies 'sold' include:

  • Plots of land for building that did not exist or were on protected green belt land
  • Wine stocks that did not yield any profits
  • Retail products that were unsuitable or at highly inflated prices, including burglar alarms, mobility scooters, 'heritage' coins and stair-lifts.

The warning about these scams comes on World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (link opens in a new window) which campaigns for greater recognition of the mistreatment of older adults wherever they live throughout the world and to highlight the need for appropriate action.  

Such scams typically employ the telephone equivalent of 'door stepping'. They phone older people and often refuse to come off the phone until they have closed a sale. Or engage in pressurised selling of an unwanted product, often at a grossly inflated price, during a home visit or by turning up on the doorstep without an appointment.

Read our Financial Scams information sheet

Source: BBC News article (link opens in a new window) and Insolvency Service press release (link opens in a new window)

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