An appeal was made to Pulborough parish councillors last week to warn vulnerable and isolated people in the area of looming scams.
Lawrie Ellis of The Sussex Elders’ Commission (SEC) said that in the past residents were more acquainted with their neighbours, the local police officer and even their bank manager, but now times have changed.
“We once knew and trusted our neighbours, but we don’t know people so well now,” said Mr Ellis.
“But there are some people who haven’t changed with the times. They trust what people tell them on the phone.”
Mr Eliis said Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner, Katy Bourne, believes elderly people are the most vulnerable to telephone and door-to-door scams.
“She thinks these are the people that are being targeted, so speak to as many old people as you can. A lot of them can’t go to clubs or attend meetings and they live in isolation. Do you know someone who falls under this category?” he asked the council at its parish meeting on Thursday (June 18).
Mr Ellis said councillors must remain vigilant for signs of those that have been affected not only by telephone scams, but also physical and mental abuse.
“If we can save just one person by talking to them it will be worthwhile,” he added.
Councillor Andy Tilbrook said that according to statistics the number of over 65-year-olds in Pulborough will increase by 50 per cent by 2031 based on the government’s 2011 census.
After the meeting, Mr Tilbrook said this is an important issue and could get a lot worse for the village.
“We’re screamingly short of people looking after our elderly, said Mr Tilbrook.
He added that care firms are also struggling to find staff to keep up with the growing number of vulnerable elderly people in Pulborough.
Mr Ellis said: “Would you all please ask any elderly people to contact me.”
If you would like to know more about the threat of scams in your area, contact Mr Ellis on 01798 874357.
For more details of the Elders’ Commission, visit www.sussex-pcc.gov.uk/elders-commission
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