FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Vancouver, BC – October 1st is National Seniors Day and a great time to remind British Columbians that seniors continue to be in the crosshairs of scams. As we age, we become more trusting which makes us more susceptible to scams. On the other hand, it makes us happier as we tend to sweat the small stuff less in out twilight years.
“BBB takes part in many public events that focus on seniors,” says Evan Kelly, Senior Communications Advisor for BBB serving Mainland BC. “I find it astonishing how many seniors are affected by scams. In particular the ongoing CRA Tax scam. Every senior I’ve talked to gets those troublesome and threatening calls that claim they owe the government money.”
Some of the top scams targeting seniors:
• Fake lottery scams – a caller claims you have won Mega Millions or PowerBall in the US but you need to send money as a disbursement fee and or taxes.
• Remote computer repair – a caller claims to be from Microsoft and needs access to your computer. They install ransomware that locks your computer and demands payment to release it.
• Fake employment scams – some seniors look for stay-at-home jobs to help make ends meet. Many of these can be found on Craigslist and are just fraudulent cheque cashing schemes.
• CRA Tax scam – the ubiquitous CRA scam is relentless. This scam is reported more than any other across Canada. A caller claims you owe more money to the government and even threatens you with arrest.
“We need to be more diligent in the lives of our loved ones without interfering,” adds Kelly. “More and more seniors are also getting involved in social media. A little guidance can go a long way to prevent being taken by a scam.”
BBB offers these warning signs for caregivers:
Be wary if:
• The senior in your life receives lots of junk mail such as sweepstakes or gets a lot of calls from people offering valuable awards or seeking charitable donations.
• The senior has written cheques or made withdrawals for escalating amounts of money to unfamiliar out-of-province companies.
• The senior starts to act secretive about phone calls.
• They start having problems paying bills or buying food.
“The good news is seniors are becoming more savvy at spotting a scam,” says Kelly. “The more we can get out there and raise awareness the better chance we have of stopping it.”
BBB’s Scam Tracker is another tool that can be used to inform and educate the public at large. Go to www.bbb.org/scamtracker to see what it’s all about.
Evan Kelly, Senior Communications Advisor
BBB Serving Mainland BC
404-788 Beatty Street
For more than 100 years, Better Business Bureau has been helping people find businesses and brands they can trust. In 2015, people turned to BBB more than 165 million times for BBB Business Reviews, all available for free at bbb.org. BBB Serving Mainland B.C., founded in 1939 and serving the Lower Mainland, Thompson-Okanagan, Northern, Central and Southern Interior BC, and the Yukon, is one of 111 local, independent BBBs across North America. In 2015, consumers turned to BBB Serving Mainland B.C. more than 2 million times for Business Reviews and processed 7,500 complaints.