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Frauds and scams have a major financial impact on Canadians and cause severe economic hardship. The proliferation of scams is a direct result of an increasingly larger older population, as well as the enhanced use of social media, such as social networking and dating sites which frequently attract fraudsters.
Scams targeting older people are now called “the crime of the 21st century”, as they have become so widespread.

Seniors are actively pursued by fraudsters for many reasons, including perceived accessibility, vulnerability and reluctance to report this crime. Social isolation is also a big risk factor.
  • Emergency or Grandparent Scam 
  • Romance Scam
  • Home renovation Scam 
  • Fraud Sweepstakes, Lottery or Contest Scam
Crime Prevention Tips
Never allow strangers to enter your home (via internet, phone or door) and take information about you and/or your assets.
  • Do not be pressured into signing contracts.
  • Read contracts carefully and never sign contracts with any blank lines, as someone may later add clauses that will harm you.
  • Do not be afraid to ask for advice from a trusted person
  • Never give or send cash.
  • Keep your credit card in sight when paying and confirm the card you get back is yours.
  • Do not volunteer personal information - guard it carefully.
  • Shred or tear up bank statements, financial records or receipts with credit card numbers on them.
  • Protect your Personal Information Number (PIN) and Social Insurance Number (SIN) by leaving your SIN card in a safe and secure place.
  • Carry only necessary credit and debit cards with you.
  • Remember the statements “buyer beware”, “if it seems too good to be true, it probably is” and “you don’t get something for nothing”. 
  • And remember, if in doubt, do not proceed and call the Police immediately about anything suspicious.
Source:  Toronto Police Service, Frauds & Scams Against Seniors Pamphlet (SP 931-E, 2018/10)
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