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How to Protect Yourself from Financial Fraud

Older adults can be especially vulnerable to financial crimes as they often have covetable assets. Sadly, most financial crime doesn’t occur at the hands of a stranger; it’s close friends or family members who are often to blame. Here are a few ways you can protect yourself from financial fraud.

  • Don’t have cheques sent to you by mail. Instead sign up for direct deposit. This negates the possibility of having documents, such as benefit cheques, stolen.
  • Never share personal information, such as your social security number or credit card number, over the phone unless you were the one who initiated the phone call.
  • Register yourself on Canada’s Do Not Call List to prevent telemarketers from contacting you. Here, you can list your home, fax and mobile number, and registration is free. Once you’ve added your information telemarketers have 31 days to stop contacting you.
  • Monitor your banks statements. If you aren’t keeping track of your credit card and chequing account transactions how will you know if there is an unauthorized charge? Be vigilant about checking your statements each month and be sure to shred paper copies of documents instead of putting them in the recycling bin.
  • Be aware of the common scams currently targeting seniors. Current scams include the False Debt Collector scam where a person posing as a debt collector will send an email urging you to repay debts. Another scam involves a person posing as a Canada Revenue Agency official sending an email saying there is a problem with your tax return. Protect Seniors Online is a website which offers a number of resources that seniors can use to avoid becoming the targets of common online scams.

For more ways to protect yourself from financial harm visit this site.