Q: About five years ago my father-in-law was the victim of a scam artist who fleeced him out of £5,000. Once he realised, he was devastated and we only got part of the money back.

In the last six months he’s received numerous calls, letters and texts from what look like other scammers. His memory isn’t the best, what can we do?

A: Unfortunately, falling victim to a scam once can increase exposure to further scams - personal details are sold on to other criminals.

Ask your father-in-law’s telephone provider if they will block numbers you have identified as suspicious, and register your father-in-law’s number with the Telephone Preference Service.

Tell your father-in-law never to reply to a text from an unfamiliar number, as there can be costly hidden charges.

Again, ask his mobile phone provider to block the number. If he’s already been stung, report it to Phone-pay Plus.

Scammers often send letters impersonating legitimate organisations. Advise your father-in-law not to respond unless he’s sure it’s genuine.

He should contact the organisation directly to check – and don't just ring up the number on the letter, as it could be a bogus call centre. Register his name and address with the Mailing Preference Service.

Doorstep scammers commonly target older and more vulnerable people. Tell your father-in-law not to let anyone in unless he’s expecting them, and not to feel embarrassed about turning people away.

You can check their credentials and make an appointment if appropriate. Once again, make sure to not just use the contact details they provide.

Free, confidential advice and help is available from South Lakes Citizens Advice on any aspect of debt, consumer problems, benefits, housing, employment or any other problems. We have various outlets across South Lakeland and can also give advice over the phone – telephone 03444 111 444 for an appointment and help, 015394 46464 for debt and on-going enquiries. Please note the opening hours at Windermere have been reduced, but contact details remain the same.