EDITORIAL: Protect the vulnerable

Any of us can be the victim of a fraud, but the lowlifes who run this sort of crime like best to victimize the elderly.

Any of us can be the victim of a fraud, but the lowlifes who run this sort of crime like best to victimize the elderly.

What makes this sort of crime so heinous is that seniors are targeted for being vulnerable. It must be pointed out that most seniors are savvy enough to be aware and protect themselves. Some, however, are not, and a criminal enterprise seeks to ferret them out.

Sadly, some criminal has crawled out from under his or her slimy rock and is aiming at seniors in the Okanagan in phone calls falsely claiming to be from the Canada Revenue Agency. The aggressive patter is that these people have been found in arrears with the CRA and have to pay up. The caller requests immediate payment by credit card or convinces the victims to purchase a prepaid credit card and to call back immediately with the information. The taxpayer is often threatened with arrest, charges, jail or deportation. Aside from losing money, the additional risk is providing enough personal information for further identity theft.

The criminals rely not on gullibility or even innocence, but people — seniors or not — who find it hard to conceive of someone stooping so low as to imitate the taxman and use threats of arrest or deportation. And because there are such people out there, we have to pay extra attention to protecting the vulnerable in our society. It’s one thing to chat with Mom or Dad to warn them, which every relative of a vulnerable senior ought to do. The real problem is that there is a large segment in that vulnerable category who have no relatives to provide such warnings. Again, the criminals rely on exploiting a vulnerability.

Keeping our seniors safe from these and other crimes is everybody’s responsibility. That means the most effective way to protect our seniors from fraud is to talk with them. Criminals rely on loneliness, isolation and lack of information for their exploitive schemes to be effective.

Crime is not just the responsibility of the police. We all need to participate in creating a society where exploitation is not just difficult, but almost impossible.

 

Just Posted

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

Geordie Fife exits the dunk tank during 2017’s Discovery House Father’s Day festivities at Skaha Lake Park. The fundraiser helps raise awareness of the work done at the house and break down the stigma associated with addiction. (Western News File)
Discovery House Father’s Day fundraiser goes digital

The addiction recovery program will be rolling out videos ahead of the fundraiser

The proposed design of the five-storey building on Front Street. (City of Penticton)
Five-storey building proposed for Penticton’s Front Street

It will be the second time the proposal will head to council

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from St. Eugene’s residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

RCMP thanked the public for assistance in finding Benjamin Archie, last seen in Princeton. (RCMP)
Missing Chilliwack man found safe and sound

The 80-year-old had walked away from his home in Chilliwack

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Flowers and cards are left at a makeshift memorial at a monument outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honour the 215 children whose remains are believed to have been discovered buried near the city in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Pick a Sunday:’ Indigenous leaders ask Catholics to stay home, push for apology

Indigenous leaders are calling on Catholics to stand in solidarity with residential school survivors by not attending church services

(Heather Lueck image)
Crash north of Enderby knocks out power, slows Highway 97A traffic

A witness captured footage of a medical helicopter landing at the scene

The RCMP presence in Central Okanagan public schools is being reviewed by the board of education. (File photo)
RCMP presence welcomed in Central Okanagan public schools

Staff survey feedback overwhelmingly positive from students, staff and parents

Most Read