Better Business Bureau reminds us all about senior scams

As people age, they tend to become more trusting, making them more susceptible to scams.

  • Oct. 6, 2016 9:00 a.m.

To coincide with National Seniors’ Day, the Better Business Bureau of Mainland BC reminded us that seniors continue to be a target of scammers.

“BBB takes part in many public events that focus on seniors,” says Evan Kelly, senior communications advisor for the Better Business Bureau. “I find it astonishing how many seniors are affected by scams, in particular the ongoing CRA Tax scam. Every senior I’ve talked to gets those troublesome and threatening calls that claim they owe the government money.”

Some of the top scams targeting seniors are: Fake Lottery Scams a caller claims you have won mega millions but you need to send money as a disbursement fee and or taxes

Remote Computer Repair a caller claims to be from Microsoft and needs access to your computer. They install ransomware that locks your computer and and then they demand payment to release it

Fake Employment Scams some seniors look for stay-at-home jobs to help make ends meet. Many of these can be found on Craigslist and are just fraudulent cheque cashing schemes

CRA Tax Scam The ubiquitous CRA scam is relentless. This scam is reported more than any other across Canada. A caller claims you owe more money to the government and even threatens you with arrest.

“We need to be more diligent in the lives of our loved ones without interfering,” adds Kelly. “More and more seniors are also getting involved in social media. A little guidance can go a long way to prevent being taken by a scam.’

The Better Business Bureau offers these warning signs for caregivers. Be wary if the senior in your life receives lots of junk mail such as sweepstakes or gets a lot of calls from people offering valuable awards or seeking charitable donations; the senior has written cheques or made withdrawals for escalating amounts of money to unfamiliar out-of-province companies; the senior starts to act secretive about phone calls; they start having problems paying bills or buying food.

“The good news is seniors are becoming savvier at spotting a scam,” says Kelly. “The more we can get out there and raise awareness the better chance we have of stopping it.’


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