This video explains the global “Grandparent Scam” in which scammers swindle seniors in many countries including United States, Japan, New Zealand and the U.K.:

Seniors, make it a New Year’s resolution to be vigilant, and not be victims of scammers and fraudsters!

Ontario, Canada, provides the following ten tips to help you as seniors to protect yourselves from scams and fraudsters:

Identity theft

  • Keep all personal documents in a secure place. If you don’t need them, do not carry your birth certificate, passport or SIN (Social Insurance Number) card.
  • Never give out your credit card, bank account, or personal information to someone over the phone, at the door, or over the Internet unless you know the person or organization you are dealing with, or you made the contact.

Credit/debit card frauds

  • Never tell another person your bank card PIN or account passwords and take care to cover your hand when entering your PIN at bank machines and when making store purchases.
  • Safely dispose of old bills and bank statements — shredding is best.

Online scams

  • If you’re on the web, do not click on pop-up windows or respond to emails by people you do not know, especially if they include attachments or links to websites:
    • Your bank or credit union will not send you anything by email unless you ask them to
    • Some say there is a problem with your bank account or tax return
    • Some appear to be asking for your help
    • Scam e-mails are often easy to spot because of spelling and other mistakes, but some can look like they are coming from a person or organization you know
  • If you are not sure about an e-mail — for example, if it asks you to respond with personal or financial information or to go to another Web site and enter information there — call to check, and do not respond to the e-mail.

Phone and door-to-door scams

  • Sometimes people call or come to your door using high-pressure sales tactics to get you to buy something you don’t want or need, or to talk you into getting work done on your house and then overcharging you or doing a bad job. While this is not always illegal, it is wrong and should be reported.
  • Do not sign an agreement or contract to buy anything without taking enough time to think it over.
    • If a salesperson insists that an “offer” is “time limited” and you must decide that moment, it is probably better not to buy.
  • Before hiring someone or agreeing to have work done on your home, ask for proof of identity and references and check them.
  • Be suspicious if someone you don’t know asks you to send them money or a cheque, or to return money they “accidentally” sent you.

Please click here for more info on more tips about how to protect yourself from scams.

Also, for more info about the different scams that target seniors, please click here.

Smart Consumer Calendar 2012: FREE

The Smart Consumer Calendar is available in 7 languages – English, French, Spanish, Tamil, Punjabi and Chinese (simplified and traditional) and includes tips on avoiding scams and protecting your identity.

The calendar is FREE. You can order a copy from ServiceOntario or print a copy online at:

www.sse.gov.on.ca/mcs/en/Pages/Smart_Consumer  Calendar.aspx

ServiceOntario Publications
1-800-668-9938
TTY: 1-800-268-7095

Report Frauds and Scams

If you want to report frauds and scams, or if you need more information, contact:

Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre
Box 686
North Bay ON P1B 8J8
1-888-495-8501
Fax: 1-888-654-9426
E-mail: info@antifraudcentre.ca
www.antifraudcentre.ca

Seniors' New Year's Resolution: Use Ontario's Ten Tips to Avoid Scams

Seniors' New Year's Resolution: Use Ontario's Ten Tips to Avoid Scams

Ontario, Canada: Newsroom

NEWS RELEASE

Tips For Freezing Out Scammers and Fraudsters

December 27, 2011

McGuinty Government Helping Seniors Protect Themselves Against Scams

This holiday season, Ontario is providing seniors with tips to protect themselves from scams and fraudsters.

  • Keep all personal documents in a secure place. If you don’t need them, do not carry your birth certificate, passport or SIN card.
  • Never tell another person your bank card PIN or account passwords and take care to cover your hand when entering your PIN at bank machines and when making store purchases.
  • Safely dispose of old bills and bank statements — shredding is best.
  • If you’re on the web, do not click on pop-up windows or respond to emails by people you do not know, especially if they include attachments or links to websites. Your bank or credit union will not send you anything by email unless you ask them to.
  • Never give out your credit card, bank account, or personal information to someone over the phone, at the door, or over the Internet unless you know the person or organization you are dealing with, or you made the contact.
  • Do not sign an agreement or contract to buy anything without taking enough time to think it over. If a salesperson insists that an “offer” is “time limited” and you must decide that moment, it is probably better not to buy.
  • Be suspicious if someone you don’t know asks you to send them money or a cheque, or to return money they “accidentally” sent you.
  • Before hiring someone or agreeing to have work done on your home, ask for proof of identity and references and check them.

Helping Ontario seniors protect themselves from scams and fraud is part of the McGuinty government’s commitment to providing more accessible, safer and secure services.

QUOTES

“Fraud is a fast growing crime that often targets older adults. Seniors can protect themselves and their families from scams by asking questions, deleting emails from unknown sources and refusing to be pressured into making quick decisions that involve large sums of money.”

 – Linda Jeffrey
Minister Responsible for Seniors

QUICK FACTS

  • The “Grandparent Scam” involves a stranger calling a senior and pretending to be a grandchild in distress. The caller asks for a significant sum of money to be wire transferred within a short period of time.
  • Fraud is the fastest growing economic crime in North America today and seniors are among the most vulnerable targets.

CONTACT

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