Data protection and cyber security elearning for care workers
Date: Tuesday 12 December 2023
Financial abuse comes in many different forms, one of which is online fraud and scams. In the run up to Christmas, crimes of this nature increase and people accessing care services represent a particularly vulnerable group who may not have the knowledge or capability to protect themselves. The Office of National Statistics (ONS) have previously published data which shows the average age of a victim is 75 years old.
Research into online scams by Bournemouth University explains how criminals work hard to develop manipulative tactics including skilful language design which mimics the type of language used in domestic violence and other abuse crimes. This language is used to make behaviour and requests seem reasonable and trick the victim into feeling as if they are making informed and rational decisions relating to their finances. For example, in a postal scam offering a ‘great opportunity’, the scammer will increase pressure by stating a time limit and indicate that the victim must take urgent action otherwise risk losing out on the ‘opportunity’. The scammer does not specifically mention money and uses the urgency of the ’opportunity’ to attract the victim.
There are many different ways that scammers will attempt to target a victim online, and we’ve written about some of the most common methods that occur across the winter season. Scammers have many different strategies for identifying vulnerability in their victims, but as research by Bournemouth University has found, most methods rely on evoking emotional responses to gain a victim’s trust:
Once a victim’s trust has been gained it can be difficult to convince them otherwise as the scammer may have already identified and exploited a vulnerability. It’s important that you are able to spot when you think someone in your care is being scammed and know what to do if you have concerns about a client’s online safety.
How to spot if someone you care for is being scammed
Online fraud can be difficult to spot, but there are some indirect indicators that could merit bringing up a discussion with the person in your care:
What you can do as a care worker or manager of a care service
If you have concerns about a client’s online safety, there are some things you can do to help: