Article posted April 6, 2012
Seniors are particularly vulnerable to scams and fraud. As well as the many known scams new ones are being invented every day.
The best defense is awareness of the many types of fraud out there and sharing information. The more everyone is informed the better chance there is of not becoming a victim.
Remember NEVER EVER give out personal information by phone or email unless you are ENTIRELY sure of the source.
If you are contacted by a supposed trusted business or institution that you were not expecting such as someone claiming to be from a bank HANG UP. If you wish to call them back call on a number that you have verified. NEVER accept that a call back number they may give you is legitimate.
An example of a common fraud in April is phony emails that appear to come from the Canadian Revenue Agency. Typically these emails will ask you confirm details for your recent filings or may suggest you have an additional refund coming. They will ask for personal information in order to verify your return or for payment of your refund.
With everyone in Canada busy filing their tax returns some people will not question a query that appears to come from the government and will unwittingly give out personal information that will be used to steal from them in a widespread fraud.
This is just one example. Please be aware of the many kinds of internet, telephone and door to door scams.
The Canadian Anti-Fraud centre is a good repository of information and describes the scams. Please click on the following link:
Emails from banks, western union, moneygram, foreign and domestic government agencies (including Canadian Revenue), credit card companies, Paypal, lotteries, and international correspondents offering money, ARE IN ALMOST ALL CASES, FRAUDULENT, SENT OUT IN BULK AND SHOULD BE DISCARDED.
Telephone and online cries for financial help from family and friends, (grandchildren) on Facebook, email, or over the phone ARE TYPICAL OF COMMON FRAUDS and should be ignored. NEVER withdraw money to send to a relative in distress without independently verifying the legitimacy of the request.