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

Just Posted

Missing Richmond man last seen in Chilliwack

Shawn Johnson last seen on June 30 on Main Street

Double homicide investigation leads Vancouver police to Eagle Landing

A VPD forensics unit was in Chilliwack Saturday collecting evidence connected to East Van murders

Abbotsford man wins $1 million in Lotto 6/49 draw

Kenneth Giffen wins prize after deciding to stop in Agassiz gas station after fishing trip

Overnight paving work near Abbotsford could snarl highway traffic

Fraser Valley motorists told to expect detours as the paving work continues until July 14 at 5 a.m.

Provincial COVID-19 data can now be used for B.C. to prepare for a second wave

In the past week, B.C. has seen a slight spike in daily test-positive case counts

Wage subsidy will be extended until December amid post-COVID reopening: Trudeau

Trudeau said the extension will ‘give greater certainty and support to businesses’

B.C. government prepares for COVID-19 economic recovery efforts

New measures after July consultation, Carole James says

COVID-19 exposure on Vancouver flight

The Air Canada 8421 flight travelled from Kelowna to Vancouver on July 6

Double homicide investigation leads Vancouver police to Chilliwack

A VPD forensics unit was in Chilliwack Saturday collecting evidence connected to East Van murders

VIDEO: Former Abbotsford resident giving away $1,000

Langley native Alex Johnson creates elaborate treasure hunt to give away cash

Tree planters get help with COVID-19 protective measures

Ottawa funds extra transportation, sanitizing for crews

UPDATE: Abbotsford shooting victim was alleged ‘crime boss,’ according to court documents

Jazzy Sran, 43, was believed to have been smuggling cocaine across the border

Trudeau apologizes for not recusing himself from WE decision

He says his and his family’s longtime involvement with the WE organization should have kept him out of the discussions

Most Read