In this story: Mental health / Services and Support /

The financial cost is the easiest thing to focus on…but the hidden cost is the emotional one.

Following a challenging time, a family member of mine was scammed on three sperate occasions, totaling £144,500. They were investments scams, over a three-month period and, although it was over 4 years ago, it still affects us now. It was a really difficult time for the whole family to see our loved one lose most of their life savings. I started looking for another job to try and support them financially going forward, we worried about how they would pay for care and at the back of my mind I had the question – were they going to be scammed again?

It is something that isn’t discussed and is way more common than people think. A recent statistic suggests that someone over 65 is scammed every 40 seconds. But it is not just something that happens to older people. I have two friends, both entrepreneurs, in their 20s and 30s, both smart individuals and they got scammed out of tens of thousands of pounds each. We really need to work to remove the stigma, shame and humiliation from it and encourage people to talk about it and share their concerns with friends and family. We want to share our story to raise awareness and hopefully help others, to show that it is not something to be ashamed of.

This problem is so widespread in society. It is important for the public to become more educated and to learn about the different types of scams that are out there and how the criminals target people, but it is really hard to know about every possibility. The methods are changing and becoming more sophisticated all the time, it is almost impossible for the public to keep up.

That’s why we created Ask Silver, a free Scam Checker to give people a tool that they can use 24/7 to confirm the authenticity of any message, email or correspondence they are unsure of the legitimacy and security of. It works like a contact on Whatsapp, users simply send it a screenshot to get instant feedback.

I spoke to over 100 people who have been effected by scams, and their families, and the effects are wide ranging – from knowing they need to be more careful in future, to losing life savings to feeling like life is not worth living anymore. 

My family member was really lucky, they got most of their money back and are doing much better now but it will always stay with them. The financial element is the easiest thing to focus on because there is a literal number associated with how much you have lost, or how much you have managed to get back. But the hidden cost is the emotional one, it’s the confidence, or lack thereof, after something like this has happened. Ultimately, he has still lost so much.


If you would like to use the free Scam Checker, go to www.ask-silver.com or send a screenshot of a suspected scam to 07360495304 via Whatsapp.

Read more Humans of Scotland Stories Here.

End of page.