Did anyone else have the “furnace company” come to their door last year and try to barge their way into your home to check the furnace? These door-to-door con artists are just one of many ways that we can become the victims of fraud. It is especially important for us to make sure our seniors are aware of current scams. How can you stay current about fraud prevention and the latest scams? We turn to Edmonton’s Finest, who have several pages on their website dedicated to the topic.
The Edmonton Police Service lists the following as some of the most common types of fraud:
- Cheque cashing/money transfer
- Prize lottery or sweepstakes
- Advance fee loans
- Employment/work from home
- Overpayment for sale of merchandise
- Upfront fee for credit cards
- Investment fraud
- Advance fee vacations
- Bogus health products or cures
- Charity donations
Here are some additional online resources to stay current on scams and frauds: the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre has updates and awareness campaigns including these tips to protect yourself. Another great resource from the federal government is the “Little Black Book of Scams” which is a comprehensive guide to many different forms of scams. Some of the highlights include:
- Do not give out your personal, credit card or online account details over the phone unless you made the call and the phone number came from a trusted source.
- Only give out your personal details and information where it is absolutely necessary and when you trust the person you are speaking to or dealing with.
- Destroy personal information: don’t just throw it out. You should cut up or shred old bills, statements or cards—for example, credit cards and ATM cards.
- Treat your personal details like you would treat money: don’t leave them lying around for others to take.
- If someone comes to your door, ask to see some identification. You do not have to let them in, and they must leave if you ask them to.
If you have been a victim of a fraud or consumer scam, the Edmonton Police Service will take your call at 780-423-4567 or #3-7-7. They also recommend calling the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at 1-888-495-8501.