Don't become a victim of phone Fraud. Here are some signs of a criminal telemarketer:
IN THE NEWS - Kingston Police - Published July 18 on Facebook
Another Victim Defrauded of Thousands via CRA iTunes Gift Card Scam
Kingston Police are warning the public to be vigilant in regards to phone calls from fraudsters claiming to be representatives of the Canada Revenue Agency.
On July 14, 2016 a 63-year-old female victim was contacted by phone where the suspect stated he was calling as an agent or officer from the CRA and that the woman owed back taxes. At the request of the scammer the woman provided her cell phone where he continued to stay on the line through her mobile device and advised her not to involve her husband.
At his instruction, for the reported purpose of settling her CRA account, the woman then made three different transactions at two different Food Basics where she purchased almost $14,000 in iTunes gift cards. The suspect then had the woman read the redemption codes on the back. By the time the woman realized she had been scammed all of the gift cards had already been redeemed, often from an overseas location.
The CRA traditionally would issue a notice of assessment to the taxpayer with a listed amount on it. Payments are normally made through a financial institution, online, credit card or email money transfer. If a person received a similar call or suspected scam Kingston Police urge people to contact the CRA to confirm the status of their account via their website http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca or by phone at 1-800-267-6999.
The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre reports that so far in 2016 they have received 46 complaints involving the use of iTunes gifts cards as payment, with losses totaling over $85,000. In Kingston alone there have been numerous reports with losses already in excess of $20,000.
Source: June 2016 newsletter Helen Henderson.
ELDER ABUSE PREVENTION - we can help
By Jim Lindsay
As the newly appointed Director of Elder Abuse Protection Service for the Lanark, Frontenac and Kingston area Council I feel it is an honour and privilege to be appointed to this Council and I am passionate as an advocate for the elderly.
My new position has been a learning curve and dealing with elder abuse, in all it forms, has been a life lesson. Having come from a career of 34 years in law enforcement, I had investigated many cases of abuse, domestic, child and animal abuse. But never have I experienced such a diverse array of abuse that can be experienced by the elderly.
There are the common types of abuse that come to mind, physical, sexual, neglect and financial.
- A little known type of abuse is that of emotional and psychological.
- When emotional pain or stress is caused to an elder, this is abuse.
- No one has the right to insult, threaten, humiliate or harass another person.
- No one has the right to take away, ignore or limit you especially when you can think and act for yourself.
The effects can be devastating to an older person. The feeling of helplessness and depression, interruption in sleep patterns and daily activities can be paralysing.
Since being a Frontenac-Kingston Council On Aging Inc. board member, I have been involved in cases from neighbour disputes, harassment by neighbours, intimidating and threatening conduct by family members toward the elderly, to name just a few.
Some of these are not unlawful in the eyes of law enforcement, but are all examples of emotional and psychological abuse.
Should you be scared, anxious, or disturbed, we at the Council on Aging are here to help.
We are able to consult and network co-cooperatively with other organizations to help seniors.
As part of our mission to support this area aging population, we lead workshops, make presentations and though education, help our seniors live the full and rewarding lives they deserve.
Ontario's senior population is growing at a rapid rate. In fact, the growth of the seniors population will account for close to half of the growth of the overall Canadian population in the next four decades.
There are many variations of the definition of abuse of older adults (commonly referred to as elder abuse) but basically it means "any action or inaction by any person which causes harm or threatens to cause harm to an older adult". The abuse may be caused by a family member, friend, a caregiver, a staff member of a care facility or anyone upon whom the older person relies on for their basic needs or services. Harm can mean any physical abuse (includes sexual assault), psychological abuse, financial abuse or neglect. Most crimes to which seniors fall victim are non-violent in nature. In fact, financial abuse is the most common type of abuse perpetrated against seniors. Listed below are some examples.
Telephone and Online Scams
The telephone and computer are great tools that con artists use to scam seniors. Con artists prey on the fact that seniors are too nice for their own good and are hesitant to say no to someone. Remember, if something sounds too good to be true, then it probably is. Home Improvement Scams Beware of persons showing up unannounced at your door requesting your business with regards to home improvements. They will be aggressive in their sales pitch! Contact the Better Business Bureau; use personal references or the Yellow Pages to arrange for home repairs when you're ready for them to be done!
What is identity theft? Basically it is when someone 'steals' your identity without your knowledge and then uses your personal information to commit a crime. This can be accomplished when someone uses your name, your Social Insurance Number (SIN), your credit card number or any other piece of personal information. Bank Cards and ATM's There is a growing trend towards bank card fraud. As we age, there is a need to sometimes rely on others for assistance. A current trend has the senior handing out his/her bank card and PIN # (Personal Identification Number). Assure you can rely on a person before handing over your PIN #.
People tend to feel more secure in their own homes. It is important to take a few extra minutes to make sure you are as safe as possible. Practice the following crime prevention tips and you'll make yourself even safer than you thought you already were. Always keep your doors and windows locked; even when at home. Install a wide angle peephole in your front door. Ask for proper identification from delivery-men or strangers - don't feel intimidated into opening your door. When away from home, make sure your house looks and sounds occupied, and if a stranger shows up at your door looking to use your phone - talk to them through your locked door and offer to place the call for them.
Older drivers still enjoy the use of their vehicles and are very respectful of the rules of the road. However, we must remember that, as we age, our reflexes, vision and hearing may not be as efficient as they were when we were younger. We must all recognize our own limitations and sometimes plan ahead to avoid putting ourselves in precarious situations for example, driving at night or in busy traffic or someday, not driving any longer. The Ministry of Transportation web site provides more information.
For information on Elder Abuse prevention, please call the Frontenac-Kingston Council on Aging Inc. office at 613-542-1336 or call the Elder Abuse Prevention Support Line at 1-855-542-1336.
February Kingston Heritage newspaper supplement for Seniors Living