Growing fraud against seniors, living in Canada, threatens both financial and emotional security. Seniors who have been defrauded may suffer long-lasting trauma that often erodes their sense of trust and well-being, senior care experts have noted.
Experts say there’s little doubt an older adult will be the target of a scammer sooner or later. It might come in the form of a knock on the door, an offer to shingle the roof, a phone call from a friendly voice that guarantees big savings on medications or an email that promises the biggest return ever on an investment.
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police have identified the following ways identity theft, insurance fraud and financial exploitation crimes are commonly played out:
Business/investment opportunities. Scammers will call you proposing a once in a lifetime opportunity, promising high returns after you send a registration and/or investment payment.
The prize scam. Someone calls to tell you that you have won a prize (trip, money, car, etcetera), but you must submit a payment in order to obtain the prize.
Medical fraud. Qualified healthcare providers are the only ones eligible to provide medical treatment and sell medical supplies. Criminals will often try and offer medical services over the phone and/or by mail. Also, many scammers have been receiving free treatment by assuming someone else’s identity and using their health card.
Identity theft. A voice on the phone asks, “Please verify the last three digits of your social insurance number. We believe that there has been fraudulent activity with your credit card.” By invoking fear, scammers take full advantage of the elderly to obtain the necessary information and exploit their identity.
Read the entire list of Common Fraud Crimes.
If you and your senior live in different cities, it’s a good idea to contact other relatives, friends and neighbours who could periodically check on them or consider the services of Home Instead Senior Care in the Mississauga ON area.
Learn the three Financial Abuse Tactics (PDF 420k) that fraudsters use to deceive unsuspecting older adults.
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