Residents living at GreenSquare’s 55+ schemes in Wiltshire attended a scam awareness event earlier this month (October), where they learnt about the dangers of rogue traders, deception theft and fake promotions.
At the event, which took place at Beversbrook Sports Centre, residents were treated to a performance of Scambusters, a play performed by actors from Salisbury-based Solomon Theatre Company.
Scambusters is based on the true stories of the victim of a rogue tarmac tradesman and a woman led to believe she’s won the holiday of a lifetime. The play highlights how easy it is to fall victim to fake schemes, premium rate promotions and doorstep scams while showing the misery this type of fraud can cause.
GreenSquare resident Ken said: “It was an excellent show. I was aware of most of it but it definitely alerted me to one or two more problems. The big problem is lots of people think that they won’t fall for a scam, and it doesn’t apply to them, but it does. It applies to everybody.”
101-year-old Gertie added: “I thought it was a very good thing to do. We learnt a lot about scams and it was really easy to learn about it the way they showed it in the play.”
Also at the event representatives from Age UK, Victim Support, The Wiltshire Bobby Van Trust, the fire service and Trading Standards were on hand to offer help and advice.
Lynda Allen, Community Officer, said: "The whole event went really well, and we’re pleased to hear that residents found it useful and informative too. In particular, everyone really enjoyed the play, and the Solomon Theatre Company did a fantastic job of putting on a production that was not only educational but good fun too.
“It can be so easy to be caught out by a scam, with the number of instances continuing to rise. We always warn our tenants to be extra vigilant and remind them that if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is."
According to the Chartered Trading Standards Institute, rogue traders cost British consumers around £442 million per year, with elderly and vulnerable people most commonly targeted. Wiltshire Police has launched a range of initiatives to help householders protect themselves and their savings while targeting those that prey on vulnerable residents.
To find out more about fraud, or to report it, visit http://actionfraud.police.uk.