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Elder law: Ontario seniors most vulnerable to fraud schemes

No one likes to be taken in by scheming and lies. And yet, that is what some seniors go through when trusting individuals who use fraud for their own financial benefits. Elder law in Ontario has rules in place that safeguard seniors from fraudulent schemes, yet there are still times when those who belong to this vulnerable sector of society get caught up in a fraudster's web of lies. 

There are some types of popular schemes that are used against seniors. They include bogus telephone calls where the person on the other end of the line says he or she is a relative -- usually a grandchild -- and is in trouble and needs money as soon as possible. Or they could be criminals pretending to solicit for charity or asking for verification of credit card numbers or social insurance numbers. And when seniors are lonely, they could be posing a people who have been targeted online for a romance scheme.

Authorities tell people -- especially seniors -- never to give out personal information over the phone or over the internet. Not even if the person sounds like someone in authority like a government worker. Personal information includes bank and credit card account numbers, pin numbers, social insurance information or passport information.

If the person calling is a bona fide person, he or she will have no problem providing some sort of identification. Those who believe they have been victims of fraud should get in touch with the authorities as soon as possible. There is no embarrassment in being taken in by professional con persons who make fraud their means of getting money.

An Ontario lawyer experienced in elder law may also be able to help seniors who have been the target of scams. A lawyer may be able to provide guidance to those scammed and to their family members. Elders  have the right to pursue compensation for the wrongs they have suffered.

 

 

Source: findlaw.ca, "Fraud schemes that target seniors", Miriam Yosowich, Accessed on March 23, 2018

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