Reminding seniors of the importance of not giving out personal or financial information to people you don’t know or over the phone is an important first step. (Submitted)

Tips on how to protect your aging loved ones from financial abuse

About one in 10 seniors are victims of consumer fraud each year: Canadian Department of Justice

Approximately 10 per cent of Canadian seniors are victims of consumer fraud each year, according to the Canadian Department of Justice.

Although these fraudsters are sometimes strangers, sadly it quite often is someone in their trusted circle such as a family member, friend, neighbour or caregiver.

“It’s unfortunate that some seniors are targeted as a result of their increased vulnerability; they may have declining physical or mental health and are likely self-isolating as a result of COVID-19,” said Kevin Haarhoff, an investigator with the corporate security team at Envision Financial.

As we approach World Elder Abuse Awareness Day on June 15, Haarhoff recommends these tips to protect the seniors in your life.

READ MORE: B.C. communities ready to offer help on World Elder Abuse Awareness Day

Be involved

During these unprecedented times, when visits with loved ones are far and few between – or not permitted at all due to physical distancing protocols – it can become increasingly easy for seniors to become even more isolated.

Not only can this take an emotional toll, but it also increases their vulnerability to fraud by creating an opportunity for fraudsters to build a trusting relationship with their victim for financial gain.

“Being an active participant in the lives of loved ones will help you detect signs of abuse early,” Haarhoff said. “It is important to be aware of who they interact with on a regular basis in case the relationship is having a negative impact. Ask questions if they are acting unusual and trust your instincts if you feel that something is not right.”

Discuss often

Reminding the older adults in your life of the importance of not giving out personal or financial information to people you don’t know or over the phone is an important first step.

However, by simply opening the financial and fraud prevention dialogue, you build rapport and make it more likely your loved one will reach out to you if there is ever a concern that needs to be addressed.

“Having discussions about fraud prevention is an important subject to broach,” Haarhoff said. “Having these conversations early and often could provide the older adults in your life the knowledge they need to identify a potential fraud or scam if they are ever faced with one.”

Should you feel someone in your life is being abused or mistreated, contact Seniors First BC via the Seniors Abuse and Information Line (SAIL) toll-free at: 1-866-437-1940.

RELATED: LETTER – Get to know your neighbours for World Elder Abuse Awareness Day


 

Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on?
Email: jenna.hauck@theprogress.com
Twitter: @PhotoJennalism

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

fraud preventionSeniors

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

New exhibit at Point Ellice House examines history of waste, water and privilege

Night soil scavengers in the 19th century would collect human waste and dump it around the city

Salish Sea scavenger hunt turns participants into citizen scientists

Public invited to join the Great Salish Sea BioBlitz

Coastal scenes at the forefront for July shows at Victoria galleries

From sculpture to landscape paintings, summer art is about nature

Victoria man collects 28 bags of trash along two-kilometre stretch of highway

20-year-old spent 12 hours collecting garbage near Thetis Lake

PHOTOS: B.C.’s top doc picks up personalized Fluevog shoes, tours mural exhibition

Murals of Gratitude exhibit includes at least one portrait of Henry alongside paintings of health-care workers

In troubled times: Independence Day in a land of confusion

Buffeted by invisible forces and just plain worn out, the United States of America celebrates its 244th birthday

Stop enforcing sex work laws during COVID-19, advocates say

There are provisions in Canada’s prostitution laws that make workers immune from prosecution, but not from arrest

Liberal party finished 2019 having spent $43 million, raised $42 million

All political parties had until midnight June 30 to submit their financial reports for last year

B.C. teacher loses licence after sexual relationships with two recently-graduated students

The teacher won’t be allowed to apply for a teaching certificate until 2035

White-throated sparrows have changed their tune, B.C. study unveils

Study marks an unprecedented development scientists say has caused them to sit up and take note

Two injured hikers airlifted from North Vancouver Island Park

Campbell River and Comox Search and Rescue hoist team rescued the injured from Cape Scott Provincial Park

Alberta health minister orders review into response after noose found in hospital in 2016

A piece of rope tied into a noose was found taped to the door of an operating room at the Grande Prairie Hospital in 2016

Most Read