10:30AM, Saturday 11 August 2018
A fraud advice helpline has been launched to help protect people’s money, confidence and independence.
Burchetts Green resident Mark White founded Reassura after his wife’s 91-year-old grandmother was conned into paying £600 for a non-existent call blocking service.
The scam left the pensioner too embarr-assed to tell anyone and afraid to answer the phone.
After hearing of his relative’s ordeal, Mark conducted research into fraud and began working on his idea for a helpline to give victims an immediate fraud advice service from UK-based advisors.
Mark said: “The reason why fraudsters target older people is they are quite often isolated and relatively cash-rich compared to others.
“You often find that elderly people won’t tell anyone if they’ve been scammed because they’re fiercely independent.
“They don’t want to be put in a home and the more they say something like this has happened the more their independence is threatened.”
Reassura officially launched in June and is based at the MyWorkSpot shared office space in King Street. The company’s team of trained fraud advisors work remotely and are available from 8.30am to 6.30pm from Monday to Saturday to offer advice to its members if they are worried they’ve been conned.
Common scams reported include phishing emails where people are tricked into handing over their personal details which can lead to bank accounts being emptied and identities stolen.
Mark added: “We get that people want to maintain their independence so we want to offer a service where people can call us up and talk to a trained advisor anytime they’re concerned.”
The company offers two tiers of membership.
A £52 per year package entitles members to 30 minutes of advisor time every three months while the £80 annual service offers 60 minutes every quarter.
Each call averages about three minutes, Mark added. Visit www.reassura.com for details.
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