Fighting the Fastest Growing Form of Elder Abuse- Financial Fraud

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Fighting the Fastest Growing Form of Elder Abuse- Financial Fraud

In recognition of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day on June 15th, the Town of High River FCSS is sharing information and tips on elder abuse and fraud. Financial abuse and fraud are among the most prevalent forms of abuse within the elderly population. Seniors and elderly individuals are often common targets as scammers perceive them to be more vulnerable, isolated or lonely and once an individual experiences fraud, they are more likely to be targeted again. Fraud and scams continue to be common within our community and go unreported. Common scams within our community include prize pitches, false extortion from CRA banks or law enforcement, phishing (asking for passwords, credit cards, personal info), and recently, asking for money to book a COVID-19 vaccine appointment.  You have nothing to be ashamed about if you have been a victim of fraud.  If you are ever unsure in our community about a phone call, email or text, contact High River FCSS at 403-652-8620.

FRAUD PREVENTION TIPS
HOW TO AVOID BECOMING A VICTIM OF FRAUD:

1. Never provide personal details about yourself or family members on inbound phone calls, via text or email.

2. If a caller is requesting money, ask who is calling and document any information they tell you for reporting purposes.

3. Beware of counterfeit cheques or other types of fraudulent payment to cover fees such as tax payment, lawyer’s fees, custom charges.

4. Remember law enforcement, government bodies, judges and so on would never request payment by money service or gift card, or ask you to participate in sting operations, or internal investigations.

5. On dating sites, be wary of individuals who are too close, too soon, perhaps professing their love; say they live close by but work overseas; or request to borrow money (never send money or cash cheques).

6. Don’t pay money to get money! Lottery companies will never demand payments to release winnings, you cannot win a lottery from another country unless you have specifically attended that country and bought a ticket.

7. If you receive a phone call from someone claiming to be your family member or in touch with someone you know, confirm their whereabouts with family or friends.

WHAT TO DO IF YOU’RE A VICTIM OF FRAUD:

1. If you do share personal information, contact your financial institutions, Equifax and/or TransUnion to place a fraud alert on your accounts.

2. Stay on alert and remember that you will likely be targeted again in another fraudulent way.

3. Report details to your financial institution(s), the police and/or Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre (CAFC).

—Source: CAFC’s Toolkit for March Fraud Prevention Month 2018 Senior Support

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