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Four in 10 scam victims keep it quiet

Written by: Emma Lunn
Pensioners have lost a total of £399m over the past year as a result of scams – but many never tell anyone about the crime.

Scammers are taking advantage of the British stiff upper lip by targeting older people who are too embarrassed to tell anyone that they’ve been conned.

Barclays has launched a campaign encouraging the nation to break the ‘Silence of the Nans’. The bank’s research found that just under a third (29 per cent) of those over the age of 65 have been scammed – losing an average of £817 – rising to £926 for men. Overall, that adds up £399m lost over the past year as a result of scams.

But the older generation are reluctant to open up and appear to suffer in silence, with four in 10 (39 per cent) keeping the crime secret from their family with many not wanting to worry them.

But keeping silent can create a vicious cycle with one in four (25 per cent) older victims being scammed more than once. The emotional impact of the crime can be profound, as more than a third (32 per cent) said they became less trusting of people. Almost a third (28 per cent) of victims admitted that they felt embarrassed after the incident, and nearly one in five (18 per cent) revealed they felt sad or depressed as a result.

Ross Martin, head of digital safety at Barclays, said: “Scammers are trying to take advantage of older people’s reluctance to open up about these incidents, which can cause huge emotional and financial turmoil. But together we can put an end to that.”

Barclays has teamed up with the nation’s oldest grime artists, Pete & Bas, to release a track titled ‘Bank Account Details Please’ – calling for the scammers to ‘jog on’.

The South London pensioners – both in their 70s – have become unlikely rap stars after racking up millions of internet views with their no-nonsense tracks, and perform to sell-out crowds in cities across the UK.

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