Former Strictly Come Dancing judge Len Goodman has become the first graduate of the Scam Avoidance Scheme, set up to help over 60s avoid scammers.
Set up by Santander the Scam Avoidance School is designed to educate over 60s about the dangers of phishing emails and cold callers. All 806 Santander branches will be signing up pupils and delivering lessons to thousands of over 60s from March 19 – 23.
In total some 82 per cent of over 60s have expressed a desire to help them avoid scammers. Age UK’s research has found that 53 per cent of Britons over the age of 65 have been specifically targeted by scammers. The Scam Avoidance School is a nationwide initiative by Santander and has been developed in partnership with fraud expert Dr Paul Seager, psychology lecturer at the University of Central Lancashire.
Aside from wanting to do all he can to help other over 60s wise up to the tricks employed by scammers, Len Goodman was first to sign up to the SAS given his personal experience of fraud when his daughter-in-law lost around £16,000.
Len Goodman, SAS alumnus, said: “It seems like scammers are everywhere today, using all kinds of sneaky tricks to scam us over 60s – whether it’s with emails, cold calls or even at the cash machine. But enough is enough. People of my age – we’ve got to have our wits about us, be more aware and more alert to scams so we can quickstep our way around the dangers and keep our bank accounts safe. The Scam Avoidance School was a real eye-opener for me: I learned a lot about how to avoid scams and I want to pass on this knowledge to as many people as I can.”
Chris Ainsley, Head of Fraud Strategy at Santander UK, commented: “We recognise that more needs to be done to help vulnerable age groups avoid becoming victims of fraudsters and scammers. Being scammed not only affects your finances, but can also leave deep emotional scars. However, with a little bit of scam-avoidance knowledge older people can feel empowered to secure their savings and stop scammers in their tracks.
“To demonstrate just how important this issue is to us we’re delivering scam avoidance training across all our branches – potentially helping thousands of older people avoid being scammed. In turn we hope they will pass on what they have learned to many thousands of others, whatever their age.”