How do we best protect some of our most vulnerable citizens? Here are some tips that are recommended by major Canadian Police Forces.
- Try to reduce or eliminate getting cheques through the mail. Where ever possible arrange for direct deposits or sent directly to the bank or trust company.
- Pay rent and other monthly bills automatically and electronically via a bank account.
- Avoid carrying a purse whenever possible.
- Never carry large sums of money on you or in a purse.
- Don’t leave purses unintended in shopping carts, waiting rooms, store counters, etc.
- If someone grabs your purse don’t resist.
- Try to keep valuables and important documents in a bank safety deposit box.
- Use a “buddy system” when going out to the bank or stores.
Unfortunately fraud is often directed at Senior Citizens. Criminals take advantage of circumstances that make people vulnerable. Financial situations, health needs or the reliance on others to do home services can make seniors targets of con games.
- Check and verify the identity of all visitors or salespeople to your home.
- Don’t do business with people that approach first. (i.e. doorknockers or telemarketers)
- If asked to sign any cheques or documents, ensure that it is for a legitimate reason. If in doubt check with a trusted friend, lawyer, accountant or the police.
- Never call a 900 number, these calls are not free.
- Never give your credit card number, bank information or social insurance number for “verification” purposes.
- Don’t send a company money for ‘taxes’. Taxes are not paid on Canadian prize winnings.
- Be wary of any “nice” stranger if the conversation deals with money.
- Say “no” to charities if you don’t know who you’re dealing with or where the money is going. A common trick it to use a name similar to a well known charity. Before donating money, ask for identification of the charity and the solicitor. All legitimate charities are registered. Never give money at the door.
The criminals are constantly looking for new targets. By preparing ourselves and our most vulnerable citizens with helpful information we can reduce the risk. Please share these tips with your friends and family.