Seniors beware: How to avoid fraud

Nov 29, 2017
Fraud prevention for seniors

The doorbell rings and an uninvited contractor tells the homeowner a repair is needed urgently and a payment is needed up front. Seniors are frequently targets for scams like these – they’re often home during the day and may be more trusting.

Here are five popular scams to watch out for. 

Lottery winner

A caller names a lottery and congratulates the senior on winning a valuable prize. All that’s needed is an advance fee to cover taxes or legal costs, paid by credit card or money transfer. 

Grandchild in trouble

A senior gets a call from someone claiming to be a police officer or lawyer. The senior’s grandchild is in serious trouble and doesn’t want their parents to know. A money transfer is needed to cover a car repair or avoid jail. 

Unpaid taxes

A caller identifies himself as a Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) official who’s discovered unpaid taxes. The senior faces court charges or prison unless payment is received by credit card or even gift cards. 

Bogus e-mails

An official-looking bank or government e-mail arrives, requesting personal information to resolve a banking or tax return issue. If the senior complies, their bank account can be accessed or their identity stolen.

Computer virus

A legitimate-appearing message pops up, warning that a virus has been detected. The senior, if they click as directed, will be told to give credit card information to purchase a program that will eliminate the virus. 

Consider telling any seniors in your life to contact you if they’re approached in any way for money or their credit card number.

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