According to the Canadian Department of Justice, elderly fraud is on the rise. Approximately 10% of seniors are victims each year in Canada. The majority of these crimes are property rather than violent crimes. Areas of greatest concern are the following:
- Financial crimes by strangers. A variety of fraudulent schemes fall in this category, including Ponzi schemes (investment), false promises of prizes, aggressive telemarketing, schemes involving health products.
- Email Scams.
- Repair Scams.
How can you avoid these scams?
- For financial crimes by strangers never give out your financial information. If you receive a suspicious phone call from someone claiming to the a relative or loved one, say you will call back and check the story with other relatives.
- Remember that if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Be suspicious of anyone who promises massive returns on investments and be sure to only deal with reputable and credible institutions. Also, you should never be asked to pay mysterious and suspicious fees within a day or two of any award or prize you may have “won”.
- Be aware of unsolicited emails and don’t disclose private information excepts to a trusted organization. If you have any questions about whether a communication you received is legitimate, call that organization directly
- Never let someone into your home claiming to be a repair man if you have not made arrangements prior. Always ask for them to show their ID. If there is any question have a friend attend and call the company they claim they are from.
- Get a least three different quotes on any work you are wishing to be done, before agreeing to a contract.