Have you been called from someone saying they are from a particular computer company and they want to fix the virus in your software program? How about the caller who identifies themselves as your granddaughter’s friend who they had their wallet stolen, is stranded and needs your help? Or the fellow who rings your door bell saying that his car broke down and his pregnant wife needs to get to the doctor and could you pay for a taxi or maybe Nigerian prince who wants to share his inheritance?
Fraudulent scams are something that we are all at risk of succumbing to, no matter what our education, age or income. I fell for one last week to the tune of $400. The antifruadcentre shares that ‘there are many known scams, pitches and fraud types, including variations thereof, with new ones invented daily.’ These include telemarketing scams, identify theft, online scams, business scams, email and mail scams and of course, door to door scams. Navigating our daily lives is becoming more complex and the level of dishonesty ‘out there’ seems to be increasing or maybe it is our constantly changing environment that is becoming more global and technical in nature. It is particularly important that we help protect ourselves and others, who may be particularly at risk. Many seniors who are isolated are often grateful for the company- whether it be a phone sales person or a door to door caller who wants to sell something. It seems we need to be more savy and more suspicious too.
Many of us who have been victims of fraud know that there is a stigma attached to it, and often we don’t report it as we are embarrassed that this has happened to us. We also sometimes brush it off as a “less serious crime”, however, in the bigger scheme of things, these scammers are making millions off what may seem small to us. There is something we can do, as tackling this growing concern is going to take more than what law enforcement agencies can do on their own.
To report suspected fraudulent scams you can call the Canadian Anti-Fraud Call Centre at 1-888-495-8501 or report online at www.antifraudcentre.ca.
Educating ourselves and others is also very important. Information about the types of scams that impact all of us and seniors in particular, and what to do about them when they happen can be found here:
Remember ‘if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is’! By the way, don’t buy the ‘free sample’ of Skin Balance or Advanced Skin, because it sure wasn’t free!