The government has been called on to set up a national scams task force to tackle a range of fraudulent activities that target the elderly such as pension scams.
With the new pension freedoms coming into force last week, Age UK warned that people over 55, who will now have access to their pension pots, were likely to be increasingly targeted by fraudsters carrying out a whole range of scams.
Age UK said despite the work already underway to tackle scams by central and local government, especially Trading Standards, the police and other agencies, there was an "urgent need for stronger leadership, co-ordination and ambition".
The charity said the task force should co-ordinate different agencies and report annually to ensure that progress is made.
The call follows research by Age UK that found one in 12 people had fallen foul of fraudsters. The survey, which polled 1,002 adults aged 18 and over, found 70% of those who did respond to scammers admitted they had personally lost money.
Scams included investment fraud, doorstep crime, which involves activities such as charging extortionate prices and/or charging for unnecessary goods or services, and pension fraud, with scammers promised savers "one-off investments, pension loans or upfront cash".
The report said there were 745 cases of pension fraud recorded in England and Wales during 2013/14, based on figures from the Office for National Statistics.
Caroline Abrahams, charity director at Age UK, said: "This review should act as a wake-up call since there is more we can and should do to combat the problem. Government and other policymakers need to recognise the big and growing threat to older people that fraud represents and take much more determined action against it."
Abrahams said the problem of targeting older people would get worse due to increased opportunities for fraudsters. She explained this was caused by the rising number of older people with dementia and cognitive decline and increased use of the internet by the elderly, which "opens up new possibilities for fraud".
She said: "The degree of sophistication used online or over the phone to defraud is frightening, but so too is the brazen approach shown by the perpetrators of more traditional forms of the offence, such as door-steppers who use high-pressure selling tactics."