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Plan for Aging in the Place you Love – Your Safety

To successfully plan ahead, you need to start thinking about how you want to live as you age and what steps you need to take to achieve that lifestyle.

This article is part of a series on Plan for Aging in the Place you Love

Your Safety

Even though people of all ages experience fraud and abuse (including financial abuse), older adults may be particularly vulnerable.
There are many good sources of information available to help seniors learn to protect themselves from fraud and abuse.age in place plan for safety
Ask at your local library or seniors’ centre, or check online for further information.

  • Do I feel safe in my home and in my neighbourhood?
  • Do I know how to protect myself against fraud and abuse, including financial abuse?
  • Do I know what to do if I suspect abuse or if I am feeling abused?

Find other articles about Aging in Place click HERE

You can find more information and resources about Aging in Place at Canada.ca/Seniors

Teunis Schouten, Owner at B Cared For Services

Elder Care – Beware of wolves in sheep’s clothing – Part 4

Last week we talked about two scams that operated over the telephone. In those cases a senior can simply hang up but what happens when someone arrives at the elderly person’s home. Often a scammer will present themself as a public utility inspector or a even a person in need. The homeowner will receive a knock on the front door and be confronted by two people. They identify themselves as

Home Support Senior victim of door scams

inspectors for the utility or gas company. They ask for entry into the senior’s home and often they will flash an ID card very quickly. So quickly that the senior will barely have time to read it. Once inside, one person will ask to be directed to the gas meter or the electrical panel and the other person will ask to use a washroom or the telephone. While the senior is kept busy, the scammer will be stealing. It could be a purse, a wallet or even a bottle of medication. Sometimes the theft is discovered quickly but often the scammer is more subtle and even if they don’t take anything they could be casing the seniors house for a future robbery.

This is a very intimidating situation for an elderly person. But if the senior is prepared they can avoid being victimized in this way.

  • ALWAYS be very cautious and careful when answering the door especially if there is more than one person there.
  • ALWAYS demand identification and ask the person to wait outside while you check it. If you have any doubt, hand it back to them, and close the door and lock it immediately.
  • DO NOT LET THEM IN! Call the utility company to confirm the reason for this visit. If they are legitimate inspectors, they will wait. If they aren’t, they’ll leave in a big hurry.

Recently in Langley, an old scam has resurfaced. This one is particularly difficult to deal with because, like the grandchild in trouble scam it tugs at the heartstrings of the elderly person. The scammer comes to the door with a ‘tale of woe’. They say that they need hot water to warm their baby’s bottle or they need to warm up their baby’s food in your microwave. Police are warning that under no circumstances should the senior allow this person entry. Another version is a person or persons will ask for water for a leaking radiator. Beware of these wolves in sheep’s clothing because once inside they could steal the senior’s wallet or purse. Now the senior must cancel credit cards, renew their driver’s license and care cards and more. Worst of all now the elder is at risk for Identity theft. We will discuss this next week. Until then, make sure that you and your elderly parents don’t open the door to strangers. Crooks know that elderly people and seniors are vulnerable so be savvy and be safe!

Lilianne Fuller, Relationship Manager at B Cared For Services

Elder Care – Beware of wolves in sheep’s clothing – Part 3

This week we will talk about two scams that are designed to take a seniors money with a simple telephone call. The first one is called The Lottery Scam. The odds of winning

the lottery are about one in a million, sometimes more. Everyone has bought a ticket or two in their day especially when the prize gets into the multi-millions. A couple of Home Support Senior Don't become a victim of telephone scams - Fraud Scam Prevention - Langley Surrey White Rock Abbotsfordweeks ago we talked about a scam called The Pigeon Drop and this one is fairly similar. Both are about getting something for nothing or almost nothing. A senior will get a telephone call from someone who invites them to become part of a special group that is buying a large number of lottery tickets. The tickets aren’t for local lotteries but ones that are overseas. The caller claims that the odds of winning go from millions to one down to as little as six to one and the senior is probably already a winner! Police advise that no matter what the caller says the odds per ticket remain the same, always millions to one. The BC Lottery Corporation will never contact a person by telephone to buy a ticket. Their advice is simple: DO NOT BUY LOTTERY TICKETS FROM A TELEPHONE SOLICITATION. You are guaranteed to lose….big time!

Elder Abuse Elder Care - Senior Support Home Support Services - Langley Surrey Abbotsford

The next scam appeals to an elderly person’s desire to help a charity. The caller will appear to be soliciting for what is clearly a worthy cause. Although the name is familiar it isn’t quite what the senior remembers. The caller will reassure the victim that they are indeed genuine and often in times of crisis, the caller will use a name that is very similar to legitimate fundraising efforts. They will ask for a credit card number for a donation and assure the senior that they will receive a tax receipt. Today’s society has numerous charities so it is hard to know all of them. First of all, make a note of the charity’s name. Write it down. Tell the caller that they will need to send you a donation envelope. If they aren’t a legitimate charity this request will usually stop them in their tracks and they will give you a bunch of excuses why they can’t comply. They will pressure you to simply give them your credit card number or send a cheque. This should be your cue to hang up. A true charity will be happy to accommodate your request. To be on the safe side never send money to a charity you don’t recognize.

As people age, they get a lot smarter. But unfortunately there are wolves in sheep’s clothing who are constantly on the lookout for ways to part seniors from their money. As in the old boy scout motto, it is a good idea to be prepared for when those people call. Next week we’ll be talking about how to deal with public utility impostors who come to your door

Lilianne Fuller, Relationship Manager at B Cared For Services

Elder Care – Beware of wolves in sheep’s clothing – Part 2

Last week we talked about a scam called The Pigeon Drop. That scam is just one of many that fraudsters will use to dupe their senior victims. This week we will talk about a particularly heartbreaking scam, The Grandchild in Trouble. The Grandchild in Trouble Scheme is particularly troubling because it tugs on the heart strings of the elderly person. It is international in scope and has recently surfaced in Langley.

Scammers have no conscience and they will prey on seniors. They are always looking for ways to make their elderly victims part with their money.

Seniors targeted by pretend grandchild in distress scam

They know that today’s seniors may have grandchildren scattered throughout Langley, British Columbia or even across the country. Seniors and elderly people want to help their family members and these pros know all the tricks. Unfortunately the crooks don’t get caught very often because of the elderly person’s embarrassment at being taken advantage of and most of the time the senior will not even report the crime.

This scam starts with a disturbing telephone call from the alleged grandson or granddaughter who is in trouble. They have been arrested and need money for bail. The scammer will cry in distress and beg their elderly grandparent not to contact their parents. They are afraid that they will get in more trouble. When the senior agrees to help them they will give a number to them so they can call to post bail. This call will be answered by someone pretending to be a lawyer or police officer and the victim will be asked to use a money wire to send the bail money which is sometimes in the thousands of dollars. Canadian Police agencies do not contact individuals for bail money nor do they use money wire services.

Seniors targeted by pretend grandchild in distress scam warning - Langley Surrey White Rock Abbotsford

To avoid being taken advantage of, the first thing to do is to take your time and keep your head. Ask for the name of the lawyer or police officer and write down the number they tell you. BUT under no circumstances call that number! If you have call display write down the incoming number. Tell the caller you will do what they ask and hang up. Next, call your son or daughter to determine the whereabouts of their children. Once you’ve determined that your family is safe and sound call the police and report the incident. If you are unnerved about this, ask your family member or a neighbour to help you. The police understand that this process is hard on an elderly person so when they send an office to take your statement they will be accompanied by a trained victim services worker. This worker will help you deal with the trauma and make sure that you will be cared for.

Like my sister said, getting old isn’t for sissies but as a savvy senior you will be prepared to deflect any and all scams that might come your way. Watch this space, next week we will be discussing a new twist on the numbers game: The lottery scam.

Lilianne Fuller, Relationship Manager at B Cared For Services