Tips For Freezing Out Scammers and Fraudsters
McGuinty Government Helping Seniors Protect Themselves Against Scams
This holiday season, Ontario is providing seniors with tips to protect themselves from scams and fraudsters.
- Keep all personal documents in a secure place. If you don't need them, do not carry your birth certificate, passport or SIN card.
- Never tell another person your bank card PIN or account passwords and take care to cover your hand when entering your PIN at bank machines and when making store purchases.
- Safely dispose of old bills and bank statements -- shredding is best.
- If you're on the web, do not click on pop-up windows or respond to emails by people you do not know, especially if they include attachments or links to websites. Your bank or credit union will not send you anything by email unless you ask them to.
- Never give out your credit card, bank account, or personal information to someone over the phone, at the door, or over the Internet unless you know the person or organization you are dealing with, or you made the contact.
- Do not sign an agreement or contract to buy anything without taking enough time to think it over. If a salesperson insists that an "offer" is "time limited" and you must decide that moment, it is probably better not to buy.
- Be suspicious if someone you don't know asks you to send them money or a cheque, or to return money they "accidentally" sent you.
- Before hiring someone or agreeing to have work done on your home, ask for proof of identity and references and check them.
Helping Ontario seniors protect themselves from scams and fraud is part of the McGuinty government's commitment to providing more accessible, safer and secure services.
- The "Grandparent Scam" involves a stranger calling a senior and pretending to be a grandchild in distress. The caller asks for a significant sum of money to be wire transferred within a short period of time.
- Fraud is the fastest growing economic crime in North America today and seniors are among the most vulnerable targets.
“Fraud is a fast growing crime that often targets older adults. Seniors can protect themselves and their families from scams by asking questions, deleting emails from unknown sources and refusing to be pressured into making quick decisions that involve large sums of money.”