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Thursday, 28 May 2015

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More than 200 reports of financial abuse in Cumbria in 12 months

Cumbria County Council has received more than 200 reports of financial abuse in the past 12 months

Only 105 of these reports were investigated by the county council's adult social care team.

Today marks the first day of an adult safeguarding campaign targeting unreported abuse.

This week the focus is on financial abuse.

Cumbria Adults Safeguarding Board (CASB) received 246 reports of financial abuse between April 2013 to the end of March this year, it has been revealed.

Only 105 of these reports were investigated by Cumbria County Council adult social care team.

Hard-hitting posters depicting a victims of abuse has been issued to all GP surgeries in the county and is available to all health and social care agencies and their public facing offices.

Financial abuse and fraud is the illegal or improper use of someone’s money or property without their consent or where consent is obtained by fraud. It is stealing and cheating a person out of their money or property.

Cumbria Police detective superintendent Mike Forrester said: "People can commit financial abuse and fraud in a number of ways. It is no surprise that as the internet has become more prevalent in people’s lives it has also become a key target for fraudsters.

"I would urge anyone to be very cautious about giving out any personal or financial information – whether that is over the phone, in person, or online. Only provide these details when you are sure the person or business you are speaking to is legitimate and is requesting the information for appropriate reasons.

"Unfortunately those committing financial abuse or fraud often target vulnerable people, who may be unable to fully understand the implications of giving out personal information.

"Vulnerable adults can have a number of people visiting them at their home, which can also put them at risk of financial abuse through manipulation or having sensitive information stolen.

"If you know someone who you think may be exploited financially please do report it."

More information about fraud and financial abuse visit www.cumbria.police.uk/advice-and-information

If someone is at risk, or you suspect someone is at risk, you should tell someone as soon as possible.

In the first instance you can contact your local adult social care office:

South Lakeland 01539 713378

Furness 01229 407446

Eden 01768 812243

Allerdale 01900 706301

Copeland 01946 506352

Carlisle 01228 221590

In an emergency out of hours people can contact the county council's adult social care duty team on 01228 526690, or call 999 for the police.

For more information visit www.cumbriamakeitstop.org.uk

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