Helping elderly avoid being scammed, either on-line or on their doorstep, is the aim of a new programme being rolled out this year.
Age Concern Flaxmere will set up and run the programme in Flaxmere, then offer it to more local areas in future.
Hastings District Council is supporting the programme, donating $5766 from its Contestable Grants Fund. The fund is distributed annually to groups developing or delivering a community service or project which fits with Council’s aim of “building a safe, liveable, sustainable community”. Council is profiling successful applicants from this year’s grants round.
Age Concern Flaxmere’s application to the fund said it wanted to give vulnerable elderly the skills to protect themselves when confronted by door to door or phone salespeople, and on-line scamming. It will also address things like ATM safety, on-line security, and safely using credit cards on-line.
The cost of developing the programme was expected be just under $7000.
The need for such information was evident from media stories across New Zealand, particularly around scamming. Typically a resident answered the phone or an email from a person saying they were from a phone company or bank which needed to fix a problem with an account or computer belonging to the resident. In some cases they were told their phone or computer services would be cut off if they did not follow instructions.
Locally, Age Concern Flaxmere manager Ani Carroll said more awareness was needed. “We had a person who bought something over the internet using their credit card. It appeared to be a legitimate product from a legitimate company but within a very short time funds were being withdrawn from the account.”
Another concern was safety at outdoor ATMs. “Our people are very trusting. It’s a generational thing; they don’t expect people to take advantage. With ATMs it is about picking times when there are lots of people around, and not going alone.”
Ms Carroll said the programme was in its development phase, with classes expected to be rolled out before the end of the year.
Contestable Fund information:
Hastings District Council Annual Contestable Funding Round 2018
Hastings District Council encourages and invites local community groups and organisations to work with Council as a contributor to meeting the current and future needs of our community. If your organisation is delivering projects or services that address the following needs of our community then, we invite you to apply to our Annual Contestable fund.
The Hastings District Council’s Community Grants Subcommittee considers supporting projects or services which will:
Applications open February 1 and close March 31 each year, for grants which are available from July 1 each year.
For more information see: www.hastingsdc.govt.nz/contestable-grants-fund
24 October 2017
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