Pensioner's £60,000 savings recovered as Dudley scams unit helps 400 victims
A scams unit set up in Dudley to protect vulnerable residents from being conned out of cash has helped nearly 400 people, new figures have revealed.
The work of Dudley Council has helped one pensioner get life savings of almost £60,000 back.
The man, in his 80s, had gone into his local branch and transferred the cash to two bank accounts operated by scammers after receiving a call from someone claiming to be from his bank.
The team has visited 237 of the most vulnerable scam victims, and supported a further 125 over the phone. More than 40 call-blockers have been installed in homes of scam victims to prevent further nuisance cold calls, with funding in place to provide a further 400 to residents free of charge.
Employees have also trained nearly 40 people as Scams Champions to take the lead on scams awareness in workplaces including banks and building societies and the care and mental health services.
An online Friends Against Scams training course has also been launched on the council’s website and is available to members of the public. Nearly 400 people have completed the training so far.
Councillor Nicolas Barlow, cabinet member for health and adult social care, said: "The work of the scams unit in Dudley is having a literally life-saving effect for some of our vulnerable residents, protecting them from fraud and scams and enabling them to live independent and healthier lives.
"Stats reveal elderly victims are more than twice as likely to die or need extra care and support in the two-year period after falling prey to scammers, so it’s absolutely critical we do all we can to stop people becoming victims."