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Ex-Strictly judge and Dartford dancing school owner Len Goodman warns older generation about financial scams

Former Strictly judge and Kent dancing school owner Len Goodman has added another string to his bow as he tries to raise awareness about financial scams affecting the older generation.

The proprietor of the Goodman Dance Academy in Dartford has become the first graduate of the Scam Avoidance School, an initiative which will give free lessons to thousands of over-60s.

The scheme, set up by Santander, will teach seniors about email phishing, vishing (telephone scams), smishing (scams by text message) and cash point cons.

Len Goodman has graduated from the Scam Avoidance School

Len Goodman has graduated from the Scam Avoidance School

Research by the bank suggests the average lost by over-60s who have fallen victim to scammers is Β£401, while older victims will, on average, lose more than double that of younger age groups.

It claimed two thirds of over 60s are worried about the threat of fraud, while one in five believe they have been approached over 10 times by scammers in the last year.

Mr Goodman, 73, who quit his role as head judge on Strictly Come Dancing in 2016, said: β€œIt seems like scammers are everywhere today, using all kinds of sneaky tricks to scam us over 60s – whether it’s with emails, cold calls or even at the cash machine. But enough is enough.

“People of my age – we’ve got to have our wits about us, be more aware and more alert to scams so we can quickstep our way around the dangers and keep our bank accounts safe.

Len Goodman is raising awareness about scams targeting older people

Len Goodman is raising awareness about scams targeting older people

“The Scam Avoidance School was a real eye-opener for me: I learned a lot about how to avoid scams and I want to pass on this knowledge to as many people as I can.”

All 806 Santander branches across the country will be signing up pupils and delivering lessons to thousands of over 60s from March 19 to 23.

Chris Ainsley, the bank’s head of fraud strategy, said: β€œWe recognise that more needs to be done to help vulnerable age groups avoid becoming victims of fraudsters and scammers.

“Being scammed not only affects your finances, but can also leave deep emotional scars.

“However, with a little bit of scam-avoidance knowledge older people can feel empowered to secure their savings and stop scammers in their tracks.”

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