There are, it sometimes seems, scams everywhere. Among the people most vulnerable to scams are seniors. The following article provided to The Revelstoke Current by Mengia Nicholson of the Revelstoke Community Response Network discusses some of the most common ones.
Mail: Some Revelstoke seniors are receiving mail intended to defraud them of their money, Post Office staff are not allowed to remove addressed mail, even if they may have concerns that it could be ‘scam’ mail. Anyone receiving this type of mail can ask to have it returned unopened, or can dispose of it so that no one can read the address to which it was sent. If this is happening to you, a friend or relative, it can be safely reported to Phone Busters, an organization the RCMP set up to deal with these issues. Please do not contact the Police. Website: www.phonebusters com. Phone: 1-888-495-8501 Telephone: Be careful. Unless you recognize the voice or see who is calling on your phone display, you could be getting a ‘scam’ call. If you live alone and don’t get out often, you may want to talk on the phone because you would like company. Dishonest people are counting on you to enjoy their ‘visit’ but they do not have your best interests in mind. Some will try to ‘sweet-talk’ you: some will try to get your banking information, to be able to take your money. Don’t hesitate to just hang up as soon as you realize that you do not know the caller. Do not give out your bank account information or PIN (Personal Identity Number). Your PIN is an important protection to help keep your bank funds and ATM (Automatic Teller Machine) safe for you.
Computer: Emails may be sent to you by dishonest people. Do not ‘open’ anything that you are not sure of. NEVER respond to a message from someone you do not know, – these often indicate a ‘payment of money’ or ‘winning a lottery’. Press ‘Delete.’ A ‘secure’ site on the internet should show: ‘htpps’: in the left bottom corner, the ‘s’ indicates it is a secure site.
Do not be shy about reporting to Phone Busters if you are getting mail that promises money or ‘fishing-type’ phone calls about your affairs; – you will help protect yourself and others by doing so. If you have any concerns about your safety, security or dignity, please contact your bank manager, your lawyer, your doctor or other trusted person.
p.s. A note to friends, neighbours and relatives: if you know a shut-in or isolated elderly person, please: call, visit or take them for an outing that they would enjoy. Reach out… it can make a difference!
The Revelstoke Community Response Network (CRN) is a group of over 60 local citizens interested in the prevention of adult abuse, neglect and self-neglect.
World Elder Abuse Awareness Day was initially established in 2002 when it was identified that mistreatment of older adults is a violation of internationally recognized human rights