Linden Lodge hosts Fraud/Scam Presentation

Linden Lodge Fraud Presentation

The Central Alberta Crime Prevention Centre gave a presentation at the Linden Lodge with information on protecting Yourself from fraud and scams. It was held in the morning of Thursday, Nov. 7, 2019. Michael Burkinshaw made the presentation. There were about 44 people listening in. Other presentations are being scheduled in and around the County as well.

The presentation started with a few reasons why seniors are targeted but it applies to pretty much everyone. It’s about having the available finances, being a trusting and eager to help generation, not being tech savvy, and because seniors, like so many of us, want to believe the best of someone.

The top 10 scams in 2017 included romance, telemarketing, Canadian Revenue Agency, charity scams, the family emergency pitch, internet, online selling and buying, phishing scams, identify theft, and limited time offer instant wins. Of course, new scams are unfolding all the time and the important element is to not give out financial or personal information to a person on the phone, no matter who they say they are. Scammers are pretty inventive and they will call back again and again. If you get on the no-telemarketing list, it only applies to businesses and such in Canada. This won’t stop the scammers pretending to be whomever.

A lot of fraud against seniors is under-reported and Michael’s very important message “Don’t feel embarrassed, stay calm, and make a list” was a hope and prayer that seniors start reporting it. There are lots of scary statistics, such as three billion annually being lost to fraud and scams across Canada, and that’s just what is reported.

Apart from changing your passwords regularly, staying calm and thinking logically about who is calling or knocking on your door is a must. Call the Better Business Bureau to see if the seller is legit. And look for a license. Charities such as ‘go fund me’ could easily be scams (happened for the Humboldt Broncos) and if legitimate will have a known bank you can donate to. Be cautious and don’t be afraid to hang up. Nobody calls you to go to jail or threaten you. If they are legit, like a speeding ticket, it will come in the mail.

Those attending the presentation all received a booklet on “The Little Blackbook of Scams” along with a whole host of pamphlets with information on individual crimes and frauds. This has some very good information.

Scams can be reported to the Better Business Bureau or the Police non-emergency line, and the Canadian Anti-fraud Center.