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April 7, 2011

Awareness, Key to Protecting Our Seniors from Criminal Minds (CANADA)


Awareness is the key to protecting our seniors from criminal minds
By ROD HILTS
April 7. 2011

Public education is the key to protecting our seniors against the continual onslaught of society's undercrust who feed off their vulnerability.
This week at a local elder abuse seminar, seniors learned they are too friendly, generous and trusting when dealing with strangers. Case in point last week, a Point Edward senior who fell victim to a prize scam that bilked her of $50,000.
Ed Lum, a former Hamilton police detective, led the Corunna seminar and said the problem is of seniors being targeted by extortionists is only going to get worse as the population ages.
Dozens of residents who gathered for the seminar learned about psychological abuse, phone scams, home renovation scams, power of attorney issues and joint bank accounts. More of these seminars, done in conjunction with the Ontario Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse, should be held in our community.
Scammers are everywhere in our society. Identity theft, phishing, on-line shopping, social networking and credit and debit card fraud are just some of the ways crooks are scamming seniors.
One scam that has made its rounds through Sarnia-Lambton is the
"Grandparent scam." This nasty deception sees the elderly victim receive a phone call from someone claiming to be a grandchild in a different city and in need of a money transfer to get out of trouble. A variety of groups are now using this scam, sometimes calling from outside the province and the country.
Sadly, once victimized by one of these scams, the senior is likely to be targeted repeatedly.
Other common frauds include door-to-door salespeople soliciting items like air and water purifiers, or so-called contractors "who just happen to be in the area" to offer services.
The people perpetuating these crimes are slime balls who have done their homework. They research everything from Internet accounts to obituaries to get the most up-to-date and detailed information on their victims.
Anyone who believes they've been a victim of a scam artist should contact their family, the police and the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.

The Seniors Safety Line is available 24-hours a day, seven days a week, toll free at 1-866-299-1011.

As evidenced by the woman who was scammed in Point Edward last week to the tune of $50,000, only the naive think that these crimes can't happen in SarniaLambton. Thanks to the Internet and the telephone, these kinds of crimes have no geographical borders.
Do your part in protecting our seniors by educating them about the dangers.





SOURCE:    The Observer, CA 
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Any Charges Reported on this blog are Merely Accusations and the Defendants are Presumed Innocent Unless and Until Proven Guilty.

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