Although many crimes are less common than they were scams are on the increase.
Scams are crimes where the perpetrator tries to swindle the victim out of money, or out of personal information with a view to stealing their money later.
Scam is a slang term for personal fraud. All scams are frauds.
It is estimated that around £10 billion is lost each year in the UK by victims of scams.
Age UK reports that 43% of older people – almost five million people aged 65 and over – believe they have been targeted by scammers. Those with dementia are at particular risk.
Scams can be committed over the phone, through the post, on the internet or face-to-face, often on the doorstep.
Because older people are more likely to live on their own, and are often lonely, they become targets for fraudsters. Age UK reports that in one study, it was found that 27% of single people responded to a scam.
This video shows a scammer in action.