We’ve all received at least one phone call where a pre-recorded message plays, indicating that you’ve won a prize, your taxes are owing or some other penalty you need to rectify. Robocalls are made using an automatic dialer and are able to contact a great number of people. They’re used for everything: telemarketing, political campaigns – and fraud.
Seniors are most vulnerable to robocalls and other phone scams. There are some easy ways you can help protect your elderly parents from fraudsters and keep their money and/or financial information safe:
• Reputable organizations never ask for your personal info through unsolicited calls, emails or texts.
• Leave it to voicemail: if it’s important (and legitimate) they’ll leave a message.
• Remind them to avoid giving personal information over the phone, email, on the web or via text.
• Be careful of scams, including the “grandchild” who needs emergency money, or calls from Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). Scammers want you to panic and act out of fear to give them what they want: money.
• If someone asks for copies of a passport, driver’s license or SIN number, or birth date, be wary – especially if you don’t know the person who’s asking for it.
• If a call comes from someone that says there’s a virus on your computer or that you owe taxes or fraudulent activity on your bank account, hang up and call the organization yourself to verify. Legitimate financial institutions rarely make calls directly.
If you or your elderly parent has become a victim to fraud, call us. We can help.