BBB Offers Free Seniors Education Seminars in the Wake of Cellphone Scam
June 4, 2013, Calgary, AB – In response to the recent cellphone scam and other schemes targeting seniors, the BBB is offering seniors and seniors’ groups free educational seminars to give them the knowledge and skills to protect themselves from fraud.
“Unfortunately, seniors are often the targets of scams involving technology, investing, home improvements and other areas as unscrupulous people may perceive them as naïve,” says Sandra Crozier-McKee, president and CEO of the BBB Serving Southern Alberta and East Kootenay. “Part of our purpose as an organization is to make sure that doesn’t happen by educating consumers of all ages and demographics and to help them protect themselves from scammers.”
After Calgary City Police released a photo of a woman wanted on six counts of defrauding seniors to buy and sell cellphones in their names, earlier today, Crozier-McKee says it's a good time to remind area seniors that education is their first defense against becoming a victim and that the BBB is there to help.
“Through our free Savvy Consumer Education Program, supported by BBB Accredited Businesses, we’re happy to visit seniors’ homes and groups and provide the information they need to arm themselves against fraudsters,” she says.
Seniors, caregivers, assisted living facilities and other community groups are encouraged to contact the BBB at (403) 531-8784 or email email@example.com to arrange a free educational seminar for their group.
In the meantime, the BBB offers the following 10 tips to help protect your identity:
- Shred statements and applications you get in the mail that you don’t want to keep.
- Cut up expired credit and debit cards, cutting through the numbers
- Protect your Social Insurance Number, all account numbers and your passwords. Do not carry them with your and do not share them with ANYONE
- Secure your personal documents at home, especially if you have roommates, employ outside help, or are having work done in your house.
- Minimize the personal information you print on your checks.
- Monitor your bank and credit card transactions for unauthorized transactions.
- Pay attention to your billing cycles. If bills do not arrive on time, follow up with your creditors.
- Don’t create obvious passwords, such as your birth date, child’s name or birth date.
- Never respond to emails requesting to “verify” your personal information and identifiers.
- Never use e-mail to communicate sensitive personal information such as your user name, password, SIN or credit card number.