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Safety For Seniors

The needs for senior citizens differ depending on the individual. Many seniors lead very active lifestyles and some travel extensively and for prolonged periods of time. Some are dependent on family and friends due to medical conditions or other factors. There is no one solution for all crime prevention however there are measures that can be taken.

Preventative measures

  • Arrange to have any cheques owing deposited directly into your bank account.
  • Arrange to have rent and other monthly bills automatically deducted from your bank account.
  • Never carry large sums of money or valuables on you or in your purse.
  • Don’t leave your purse unattended in shopping carts or in view in your vehicle.
  • If someone grabs your purse, don’t resist.

Fraud

  • Seniors are often main targets for fraud because the con artist will take advantage of circumstances that make seniors more vulnerable.
  • Financial situations, health needs or the reliance on others to do home repairs can make seniors potential targets of con games.
  • Check and verify the identity of anyone who represents themselves as either salespeople, home improvement companies, or financial institutions.
  • Never give your credit card number, banking information or social insurance number to anyone for verification purposes.
  • Do not sign any documents or cheques, ensure that it is for a legitimate reason. If in doubt do not allow yourself to be rushed or pressured into signing. Contact a trusted friend or lawyer or even police.
  • Do not call any 900 numbers as their phone numbers are NOT free.

Other frauds to be aware of:

  • Home repair: these people will offer you a free inspection on your home and advise you that major repairs are required immediately. Then they will ask you for cash up front. If this happens you should obtain references, get a written estimate, and then check their credentials with the Better Business Bureau.
  • Telephone soliciting: usually involves a call from someone who you don’t know who offers something too good to refuse. They will request payment from you in the form of cash or credit card. If you do receive the product it’s probably something you didn’t expect, or it doesn’t even arrive.
  • The service person: This person will try to be invited into your house to check your phone lines, gas lines, read the water metre, etc. Do not open your door to strangers! Most legitimate companies will call for an appointment.
  • Free trip/prize scam: You will receive a call or letter congratulating you for winning a big prize such as a boat, car, or a trip. In order to collect the prize you must pay a service fee or tax. You send in your money but you will never see your prize. No legitimate contest requires you to pay any money to claim a prize.
 

Important Rule: If it sounds too good to be true it probably is!

 

Related Links

Provincial Safety for Seniors Website

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