About seven in 10 crimes against older Canadians are never reported to police because victims did not believe the incident was important enough to seek help or because they dealt with the issue personally, according to Statistics Canada. Shame and embarrassment can play a role in an older adult’s reluctance to talk about being scammed.
Family members may help seniors avoid the humiliation and potential financial devastation of a con. The Home Instead Senior Care network along with North American Security experts and the Canadian Council of Better Business Bureaus, recommend these tips to help keep seniors from being exploited.
Shred documents that could be useful to criminals, including bank statements, credit card statements and offers, and other financial information.
Insist that your senior check with the Canadian Council of Better Business Bureaus before he or she acts on a phone call or a piece of mail, or agrees to a visit from an unknown person, business or charity.
Add seniors to the national Do-Not-Call Registry. Instruct them to hang up if they get solicitation calls.
Insist that your senior never give out personal information nor agree to give money over the phone, rather ask for written information to be sent through the mail.
Make sure a charity is registered with the Canadian government. Make a written “giving plan” together : list which organizations the senior intends to support, and stick to it.
Establish a strong defense by posting a “No Solicitation” notice by a senior loved one’s front door and help your senior to sort through his or her incoming mail.
Educate your senior loved one about email and phishing tactics.
Watch for individuals who have befriended your loved one. Lonely or isolated seniors may be vulnerable to criminals who befriend them and provide companionship.
Watch for changes in their lifestyle as well as any other unusual financial or business activity. If a senior can no longer handle his or her finances, encourage your loved one to put a plan in place that can help ensure bills are paid and assets are protected.
Find trustworthy people who can serve as eyes and ears for seniors by screening door-to-door scammers and others who seek to exploit by telephone or computer.
Our Mississauga Home Instead Senior CAREGivers can be your loved ones’ second set of eyes and ears to make sure they avoid being scammed. Please give us a call at 905- 276-2273.
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Home Care Mississauga helping older adults and elderly live independently and safely at home. Please call 905- 276-2273.
Home Instead offers free monthly newsletters with tips and advice for caregivers of elderly loved ones.