Top 10 Senior Scams

Aug 3, 2018

IDENTITY THEFT—Sign credit cards, don’t lend them out.  Shred documents.

GRANDPARENT SCAM—Grandkids call—they are in jail or hospital,  scared, want money and don’t want you to tell their parents.

SERVICE SCAMS—Microsoft problems or lower interest rates offered by banks.  Don’t give out personal info. (They don’t know you have a virus!)

REVENUE CANADA—Don’t believe threats made by the CRA.  They NEVER contact by phone , email or text.

PHISHING— or “Brand Spoofing”  Emails come from frauds posing as banks or large companies.  Don’t follow links or give out information.  Usually the
grammar and English is poor.

VACATION—Free flights or vacations offered.  Don’t follow through with the Robocall prompts.

PRIZE SCAMS—Real prizes don’t require money up front.

ROMANCE SCAMS—Be wary of fast developing relationships professing everlasting love.

RENTAL SCAM—If the landlord is asking you to wire money first and the rent is too good to be true….it is.

COUNTERFEIT PRESCRIPTION DRUGS—Seniors looking for
affordable medication online need to beware.  Not all pharmacy websites are reliable.  It’s best not to buy prescription medication online.

CAN YOU HEAR ME? SCAM—If an unknown caller ever asks if you can hear them, hang up immediately.  They are recording your “yes” to use it as a claim that you authorized charges on credit cards or other contracts.

How can you help protect yourself from becoming the victim of a scam?  Know the risk factors and be aware of common scams and how to prevent them.

Criminals and professional scammers are most likely to target seniors who:

· Are lonely or emotionally vulnerable

· Are not familiar with common scams

· Are particularly susceptible to marketing campaigns

· Do not know their rights as a consumer

· Do not want to hang up on telemarketers or say “no” to salespeople

· Have been known to engage in financial risk-taking (investing in risky business, for example)

· Have diminished capacity for decision making

· Own a home

If you or a senior in your life meet any of these criteria, talk to them about how to recognize a scam and mention some of the popular scams that are circulating .

STAY SAFE

Scammers are always coming up with new scams, but these tips may
help to keep you safe:

· Be suspicious of people you don’t know, and remember that no one will “accidently” send you money you need to return; even if the money “appears” in your account (a fake check may be flagged after it has been deposited )

· Check the references of anyone you are thinking of hiring for landscaping,
renovations or other work

· Do not click links sent to you via email, or in pop-up windows

· Don’t give out any of your personal information, passwords or card numbers to anyone

· Check with the Canadian Anti-Fraud website for current scams

· Lock away passports, SIN cards and other important documents

· Never make an agreement, purchase or sign a contract until you have time to think about it (and read the fine print)

· Shred all documents and bills with personal info before throwing them out

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