Seniors are all too often the target of fraudulent phone calls and email scams. Many security experts agree that older adults can be seen as profitable targets for fraudsters – in part because seniors are often thought to have a “nest egg” and an excellent credit rating.
What makes this even more alarming is that research shows seniors who do become victims of fraud are not telling their friends or family. This is an important step to help law enforcement catch the criminals and prevent fraud in the future.
“According to a Visa Canada survey, approximately half of all seniors over the age of 65 who have been victimized by fraud do not tell anyone about their ordeal,” says Gord Jamieson, head of security for Visa Canada. “Individuals should never be embarrassed to talk to family, friends or their bank if they have questions or are worried they may be a victim of fraud.”
Jamieson points out that there are many things seniors, and all Canadians, can do to help safeguard their personal information and prevent fraud. He recommends the following tips for the young at heart:
• Always treat your cards as if they were cash, and don't leave them in places where they are easily accessible to anyone.
• Always report lost or stolen cards immediately to your bank.
• Always make a list of all your card numbers and keep this list in a safe place.
• Always create a PIN that is hard to guess (e.g. not a birthday or phone number).
• Always be cautious when asked for personal information over the phone when you didn't initiate the call.
• Never share your PIN – not even with family, friends or caregivers.
• Never keep a written copy of your PIN in your wallet or purse.
• Never lend your credit or debit card to anyone, ever.
• Never agree to a “free trial” or “sample” without reading the terms and conditions. You may be agreeing to future monthly charges – which aren't free.
More fraud prevention tips can be found online at www.VisaSecuritySense.ca.
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