(NC) March is Fraud Prevention Month in Canada and the federal government is reminding Canadians to be on guard against offers that seem too good to be true. Seniors in particular can become victims of various forms of fraud. Those who are isolated are even more at risk.
Scammers target seniors with several kinds of fraud, from telephone and email scams to fraudulent telemarketing.
One of the easiest ways for seniors to protect themselves from fraud is to order a credit report every year from Canada’s credit reporting agencies, Equifax and TransUnion. A credit report will show when someone else has opened credit cards or loans in your name.
While powers of attorney and joint bank accounts can help seniors and those who care for them manage and protect their finances, these tools can be abused by people in positions of trust.
To guard against this risk, seniors can reduce the number of banking transactions that need to be carried out by someone else on their behalf by using direct deposit for pensions and other regular payments, as well as preauthorized payments for regular bills.
“We know seniors are targets for fraud and we want to make sure they and their families understand how to identify and prevent fraud,” says Jane Rooney, Canada’s financial literacy leader. “That’s why the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada offers plenty of information to help protect seniors and vulnerable populations.”
If you or someone you know have been a victim of fraud, contact the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at 1-888-495-8501. Find more information online at itpaystoknow.gc.ca.