This month we raise our awareness about scams in the senior community.
As we age, our social circle usually becomes smaller and the reasons for it are varied. It leaves seniors, and many of us for that matter, in the dark about the various scams out there just because we are interacting less. Since the start of the pandemic, I have limited my exposure to the news as so much of it was negative. Couple that with less face-to-face social interaction means missing some of the warnings about recent scams. This is relevant to all of us, and I imagine most of us have been taken for something at some point in our lives, whether online, over the phone or in person.
Scams have become so realistic in nature, that it’s very difficult to determine what’s real and what isn’t.
This month’s blog, given to us by Marci Perreault, a partner in KenMar Financial, is a reminder to keep up to date with what’s happening around us. If you suspect you may be the target of a scam report it to the police, and if you hear of one that’s circulating, make sure everyone in your circle knows about it.
We need to be vigilant about this.
Click here from more information from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP): A senior’s guidebook for security and safety. One of the topics includes fraud and scams.
Beware of Fraud Targeting Seniors
By: Marci Perreault, a partner in KenMar Financial
A person claiming to be a lawyer phones a targeted senior with an urgent request. Their grandchild crossed the border and got into legal trouble. They need $5,000 to avoid jail and said please don’t tell mom or dad. The grandparent scam is an old one that’s now making a resurgence across Canada. And there are a dozen or more other common scams, each one victimizing a senior for hundreds or thousands of dollars.
In a telephone scam, a supposed Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) official asks for the person’s social insurance number (SIN) and bank account details to deposit COVID-19 benefits.
A fraudster professing to be a contractor rings the doorbell. They noticed the senior needs a roof, chimney or other home repair. Just pay upfront for the supplies—no labour charge until the job is done.
Scams involving computer messages come in many forms, some asking for personal information from what appears to be an official source, such as Canada Post, and others claiming the computer is infected with a virus that can be eliminated for a fee.
Warn your loved ones
If you have a senior parent or other seniors in your life who could be susceptible to fraud, you may want to talk to them about fraudulent scams. Ideally, ask them to contact you if they’re approached with any demand or offer they didn’t request—whether it’s online, through the mail, over the phone or at the door. And remind them not to give out any personal or financial information.