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It's National Seniors Safety Week

05.11.2018 11:03
By: Frank McGwire

Safety tips include how to deal with scammers

Brandon, MB (CKLQ) - Since 2014 seniors in Canada have been scammed out close to 100 million dollars according to the Competition Bureau of Canada.

Most of these are phone scams or mail fraud. 

However, a growing number of scams occur online.

Lewis Smith with the Canada Safety Council says identity theft is the most alarming concern.

"We're talking about a society here where identity theft can set you back decades and in the case of senior citizens those are decades that they may not necessarily have," Smith said. 

One of the ways scammers attempt to access personal information is via an email.

"Most times these scammers can design highly convincing templates which appear to be from official agencies related to financial information," Smith said.

Safety tips are an important part of the national initiative designed to keep seniors safe. 

"Keeping information safe is paramount to making sure the rest of their years are spent comfortably in a situation they're looking forward to enjoying as far as retirement," said Smith.

Here are five other useful tips to keep your information out of the wrong hands:

1. Limit what you share online; do not give out your social insurance number online under any circumstances. 

2. Don't share personal information online, including credit card numbers and your address, unless you are on a secure website. To check, look for a padlock icon next to the site's address.

3. Many scam calls are of the "cold call" variety. If you're unsure, let the call go to voicemail. 

4. If you are asked for information over the phone, ensure that you are the one who initiated the call and you know who you're talking to.

Be wary of incoming calls as you may be speaking with someone who is not affiliated with the organization they claim to be from.  

5. Keep your digital household clean, ensure your software is kept up to date and deactivate/delete accounts or apps that are no longer in use.

To access more information regarding National Seniors Safety Week click here.