Bingo Fraudster Driven by Gambling Addiction
When it comes to the online and offline bingo markets, there are two clear trends that typify the demographics of each. While younger players are generally found to be playing online bingo, it is the older players who are still attending bingo sessions at their local halls and other venues in their community.
With bingo proving to be popular hobby for many members of the older generation, it is imperative that measures are in place to safeguard their welfare. This clear need is based on the emergence of a disgusting piece of financial fraud that was perpetrated against elderly victims. Elderly victims are not only at risk of fraud when being swindled out of winnings, but also when entrusting their finances to others.
Thousands Stolen by Carer
On 2 November, a 42-year-old woman from Yeovil was given a 12-month custodial sentence after pleading guilty to her abusive crimes. Karen Kitson abused her position at a care home to steal money from two victims. She had been employed to act as a care assistant, a role that would require her to provide support to aid with cleaning, shopping, and finances.
In a first offence, Ms Kitson had stolen £9,300 from an 89-year-old victim who had died after suffering from dementia. The family of the victim has only uncovered the fraud when going through bank statements after their death. After contacting the police to highlight 15 questionable withdrawals, CCTV images were obtained of Ms Kitson while withdrawing the money.
Incredibly, her second offence occurred while she was still serving a probationary period for the first. On this occasion, she conned a 66-year-old Parkinson’s victim into lending her £2,190. She had lied to the man, telling him that her husband had forced her to leave their home and that she needed to find somewhere to live. The victim informed the care home’s management after she had failed to repay the £2,190 in an agreed timeframe of two weeks.
Driven by Gambling
The sad aspect of this story is that the hurt caused to the victims could have been avoided if Ms Kitson had sought support for an online bingo addiction. The court heard of how she spent £30,000 from the retirement money of her husband, who had served in the army. She had stolen from her victims in an attempt to cover her losses.
Nowadays, there are many organisations ready to help people who are suffering from gambling addiction in the UK. Some of the most common include Gamblers Anonymous, GamCare, Gamble Aware, and Gam-Anon. Help is even available to addicts who inform their GP, who can recommend potential support groups.
Understandably, gambling addiction is tough to deal with, as are the various other addictions. This is where family and friends need to look out for potential addicts. Should they bear witness to troubling behaviour, it is their duty to inform those closest to them. More often than not, gambling addicts need to be encouraged to face up to their problem, and that’s before other people have to suffer, like the elderly victims above.
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