Blog post by Robyn Sansbury – Social isolation linked to internet scams

14 January 2015

An ABC News piece recently highlighted the growing number of people being ripped off by internet scams – focussing specifically on how many individuals are being duped to transfer large sums of their hard earned money, and in some cases their nest-egg savings.

Detective Superintendent Brian Hay from the Queensland Police Fraud and Cybercrime Group noted that social isolation plays a significant part in why many Australians are duped year after year; coupled with our ageing population.

“I think culturally we have a trusting nature, we have an ageing population and that makes us vulnerable to a point, and we’ve developed a culture where we don’t necessarily have the strongest bond with our seniors and older members of our family like other cultures,” says Detective Hay.

You’ve probably heard before of the health impacts of being socially isolated. However as discussed in this news story, being alone with no one to talk to not only impacts on health but also opens up our elderly to being more vulnerable to scams as they are often seeking companionship.

PresCare takes very seriously the impact of social isolation in the elderly in our community. From our Executive management and Board members to our staff across our sites, we all strive to connect as many people as we can to their community through a number of programs.

From friendship groups and Men’s Sheds to charity and community events, these activities all play an important part towards mitigating the impact of social isolation.
Our friendship groups are invaluable in reducing the impact of social isolation – even if it is only for a few hours it’s something that PresCare clients look forward to each month.

Many long lasting friendships have been forged at the monthly get-togethers where anything from a BBQ lunch, trivia and memory games to reading jokes and inspiring stories, to day trips to museums are arranged.

We can also hope that if PresCare client has stronger community connections, they will be less vulnerable to scammers looking to take advantage of their loneliness.

Friendship groups are just one of the initiatives PresCare coordinates to help keep people more connected. For more information on our friendship groups, or other programs please call 1800 773 722.

Pastoral Carer for Kawana Waters – Robyn Sansbury