Con artists are dealing “another body blow” to the most vulnerable in society who need more protection, according to a charity.
The Alzheimer’s Society calculated that 15% of people with dementia have been victims of financial abuse such as cold calling, scam mail or mis-selling.
That equates to 112,500 people, who lose an average of £850 each.
The Alzheimer’s Society spoke to 104 carers and 47 people with dementia, as well as focus groups with nursing staff, social workers, and other professionals.
This research suggested that 62% of carers said the person they cared for had been approached by cold callers or salespeople on the doorstep, and 70% had been targeted by telephone cold callers.
“We are merely scratching the surface of the frightening hidden depths of financial abuse,” said Jeremy Hughes, chief executive at the Alzheimer’s Society.
“Too often, con artists are dealing another body blow to people who already face high care costs and a society that fails to understand their needs.”
Steve Pye, whose 84-year-old father Stan has dementia and was scammed out of over £1,000, said: “It is not just about being out of pocket. Because of these con artists, my dad now finds it very difficult to trust people.”
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