Predators increasingly target seniors with theft and fraud, warn Montreal police
SPVM reminds elderly people and their relatives to be vigilant
Montreal police are reminding senior citizens and their relatives to remain vigilant, after a woman was charged with impersonating a 91-year-old patient in the long-term care residence where she worked and fraudulently using the patient's credit card.
Police say the accused called the elderly woman's bank, pretending to be her. She obtained a new PIN number by mail on the grounds that she needed to buy hearing aids. The accused then used the credit card to make various purchases and withdraw money from an ATM, police say.
In the end, the bank reimbursed the fraud victim a total of $6,593.70.
The alleged thief was fired from her job at the seniors' residence and is facing two charges of fraud of $5,000 and one charge of impersonation, or identity fraud with intent to gain advantage.
More seniors victims of fraud: police
According to police, more and more seniors are becoming victims of fraud and theft. These crimes are often committed by caregivers, home helpers or employees of seniors' residences, police say.
Police are urging seniors, their family members and caregivers to keep an eye on bank accounts and expenses. They recommend contacting the financial institution involved if there is any concern.
Some other fraud prevention tips include:
- Avoid giving your personal information to support staff.
- Do not disclose personal information, such as bank account and social insurance numbers, by email or messaging.
- Use a shredder to destroy your documents containing personal information.
- Remember your PIN, and never write it on your credit cards.
- Never disclose your PIN to anyone, even if they are making a purchase for you.
- Keep your chequebooks in a safe place.
- Always fill in your cheque book with the date, amount and reason for the cheque.
- Check your banking information several times a month.
- Check your credit history once a year.
- Banks generally allow you 30 days after issuing a monthly statement to report any discrepancies. Beyond this, you could be held responsible for any financial loss caused by fraud.