Beware of fraud targeting seniors

A person claiming to be a lawyer phones a targeted senior with an urgent request. Their grandchild crossed the border and got into legal trouble. They need $5,000 to avoid jail and said please don’t tell mom or dad. The grandparent scam is an old one that’s now making a resurgence across Canada. And there are a dozen or more other common scams, each one victimizing a senior for hundreds or thousands of dollars.

Widespread scams
In a telephone scam, a supposed Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) official asks for the person’s social insurance number (SIN) and bank account details to deposit COVID-19 benefits.

A fraudster professing to be a contractor rings the doorbell. They noticed the senior needs a roof, chimney or other home repair. Just pay upfront for the supplies—no labour charge until the job is done.

Scams involving computer messages come in many forms, some asking for personal information from what appears to be an official source, such as Canada Post, and others claiming the computer is infected with a virus that can be eliminated for a fee.

Warn your loved ones
If you have a senior parent or other seniors in your life who could be susceptible to fraud, you may want to talk to them about fraudulent scams. Ideally, ask them to contact you if they’re approached with any demand or offer they didn’t request—whether it’s online, through the mail, over the phone or at the door. And remind them not to give out any personal or financial information.

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