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

Heavy rain in Okanagan results in slowest start to fire season in four years

119 hectares of land burned so far this year, compared to 991 ha in 2019, and 3,835 ha in 2018

Dog rescued from rocky ledge in Summerland

Penticton Search and Rescue members perform high angle rescue

QUIZ: Put your knowledge of Canada to the test

How much do you know about our country?

Penticton Speedway prepares for first race of the year

Limited capacity and social distancing protocols in place after track closed for months

Locals vocal about proposed 300-plus home development in Naramata Bench

The developers, Canadian Horizons, will likely apply for land zoning in August or September

North Okanagan man gives back for Canada Day

Food packages given away to those living on the streets in Vernon

Tsilhqot’in Nation demands meeting with feds on declining Fraser River chinook stocks

The Nation wants to partner with DFO to rebuild and recover the stocks

PHOTOS: Dual rallies take over Legislature lawn on Canada Day

Resist Canada 153 highlighted colonization and genocide, Unify the People called COVID a hoax

Gov. General honours Canadians for bravery, volunteer service

Five categories of winners presented on Canada Day

COVID-19: Should non-medical masks be mandatory in Canada?

New poll shows Canadians are divided on the rules around mandatory masks

Okanagan mine makes way for industrial project

Council holds a special meeting to rezone property

In photos and video: Colourful Canada Day parade rolls through Sicamous

Patriotic procession allows community to celebrate together while maintaining distance

Okanagan arsonist sentenced to 3 years probation

Arsonist must pay $500 to each party affected, no access to drugs, alcohol or fire starters

Northbound lane of Coquihalla closed after vehicle incident near Hope

A northbound lane is closed just north of the Great Bear Snowshed, according to DriveBC

Most Read