Action Desk: Session to help Sheffield OAPs avoid online fraudsters

Kathleen Mysberg with a friend at the session
Kathleen Mysberg with a friend at the session
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Trading Standards and university students in Sheffield have teamed up to make city pensioners more aware of online scams.

Sheffield Council’s ‘Not Born Yesterday’ campaign aims to tackle scammers and rogue traders preying on the most vulnerable.

One of these silver surfers to benefit from such a session is 100-year-old Kathleen Mysberg – who uses the internet to Skype her family overseas.

She was given a lesson in how to stay safe online before trading standards followed up with some helpful tips about doorstep crime.

The event, run by undergraduate computer information and security student Rob Lister, was organised in conjunction with Sheffield Hallam University and Age UK Sheffield.

Mr Lister, aged 20, said: “It went really well. The presentation was a good introduction to staying safe online and off-line and we hope that it will lead to further sessions both at Hallam and in the community.

“We find that people often start using the internet without any tips on how to do so safely, so courses like this give them a toolkit to follow.

“I’d like to thank the other groups who attended a really good first session.”

The other students who took part were Erick Hibert, aged 23, Rasheed Osman, 21, and 20-year-old Danny Ibishev.

Spotting the warning signs and providing support to victims is a key aim of the project.

Those being helped might be someone receiving lots of junk letters for mail order products and prize draws, being pestered by scam calls, or being targeted at the door for unnecessary property repairs or gardening work.

Coun Bryan Lodge, cabinet member for the environment at Sheffield Council, said: “We know that some of the most vulnerable people in Sheffield sadly won’t have face-to-face contact with many people on a daily basis, which is why it’s important that we use those living and working in our communities to look out for these people and be aware of the signs of scams and rogue trading.

“It is a sad fact that criminals prey on the most vulnerable. But once we are made aware of people being a victim of rogue traders or scams, we can use all the powers at our disposal to stop it happening. again.”