Helping to protect Hartlepool’s older generation from ruthless fraudsters

The Project 65 scams session at the Centre for Independent Living. Pictures by Frank Reid.
The Project 65 scams session at the Centre for Independent Living. Pictures by Frank Reid.

Older people learned how to avoid falling victim to fraudsters including in cyberspace at a well-attended session in Hartlepool.

Members of Project 65, which loans tablet devices to pensioners and helps them to get the most out of them, attended the event led by Hartlepool Trading Standards.

The scam session led by Trading Standards underway at the Centre for Independent Living. Picture by FRANK REID

The scam session led by Trading Standards underway at the Centre for Independent Living. Picture by FRANK REID

Taking place at the Centre for Independent Living, in Burbank Street, people learned what type of scams to be on their guard including on the telephone, over the internet and those that arrive through the post.

Michael Slimings, director of Incontrol-able, a community interest company that runs Project 65, said: “Our workshop on the subject of scams and security went down very well.

“There was a really good attendance and everyone listened intently to our guest speaker from Hartlepool Trading Standards.

“It was an interactive session, with lots of questions asked and answered. Hand-outs were also shared.”

Tablet users were given valuable advice on how to stay safe online.

Tablet users were given valuable advice on how to stay safe online.

The session also spoke about doorstep callers, known as Nottingham Knockers, and gave advice on how those present can protect their computers and tablets from viruses and malicious software.

Michael added: “Our speaker also talked about the importance of sharing information and not to feel guilty if you have been caught out because it is organised crime.

“There was a general understanding that if something looks too good to be true then it probably is.

“Daniel gave real examples of people that had been conned including in Hartlepool.”

The event was the final quarterly session of Project 65.

Others, held at community venues across the town, looked at things like how to master internet shopping, social media, and a back-to-basics refresher.

Project 65 has been running for two years as part of work to tackle social isolation among the older generation.

The average age of people loaning a tablet has risen to 84, with three quarters of people going on to buy their own device.

The project has been supported by Hartlepool Borough Council and staff from the town’s O2 store in Middleton Grange shopping centre.