Seniors Fraud Awareness

By Ron Fanfair, Toronto Police Service Published: 11:04 a.m. June 23, 2017

Seniors are most vulnerable to scam artists seeking to defraud them of their life savings and other valuables.

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Crime Stoppers Constable Paul Theriault speaks to seniors about the anonymous tip program

With this in mind, TPS Financial Crimes hosted a seniors information session and Expo for Seniors’ Month at the Bernard Betel Centre on June 21.

Detective Constable Warren Bulmer addressed internet scams.

“The reality is that most people victimized by an internet scam haven’t done anything wrong,” he said. “It happens to people with little computer experience and those with a lot of computer experience. The people who do these types of scams are very good at what they do and can trick even the most savvy computer user.

“The reason these things happen as easily as they do is because when you turn on your computer and connect it to the internet, you instantly have now connected your computer potentially to millions of other computers.”

Christine Allum, of the Ontario Securities Commission, warned seniors to be wary of callers offering them great deals.

“In order to be part of the deal, they will tell you that they have to know right away,” she said. “This high-pressure sales tactic is employed because they don’t want you to think about why the deal is so good. The best thing you can do is walk away and take time to think about the deal.”

Steve Kee, of the Insurance Bureau of Canada, also spoke to the seniors about auto insurance fraud.

A man speaks to two women
Steve Kee talks to seniors about how to protect themselves against fraud

“Auto insurance fraud in Ontario is big business,” he said. “Some of the frauds are as a result of staged collisions where people get into accidents and try to charge insurance companies for services that they don’t really need.”

The seniors attending the event were mainly Russian immigrants.

People who have been approached, or know someone who may have been the victim of these scams, are asked to contact their local police, Crime Stoppers anonymously at 416−222−TIPS (8477), online at  222tips.com, text TOR and your message to CRIMES (274637), or Leave A Tip on Facebook. Download the free Crime Stoppers Mobile App on iTunes, Google Play or Blackberry App.

For more information on frauds and to report online visit the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre,click here


Three people at a booth with a table of pamphlets
Steve Kee, Christine Allum and Detective Constable Warren Bulmer
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