Police helping seniors fight fraud

Image of Nick Seebruch
By Nick Seebruch
Police helping seniors fight fraud
Cst. Dan Cloutier of the Cornwall Police Service will be holding seminars in the coming weeks to help seniors fight fraud (Nick Seebruch/ Seaway News).

CORNWALL, Ontario – The Cornwall Police Service (CPS) are holding educational seminars this week and next and the City’s retirement and long term care residences to help inform seniors about fraud and scammers.

The CPS will be visiting Beek Lindsay House, Glen-Stor-Dun Lodge, Sandfield Place, St. Joseph’s Continuing Care Centre, and Riverdale Terrace starting on Monday, March 16. The CPS have already held seminars at Chateau Cornwall.

CPS state that they are seeing a wide range of fraud and scams on the rise in the community, with grandparent scams, romance scams, phishing scams and the classic CRA scam just to name a few.

Cst. Dan Cloutier of the CPS says there are a few strategies that he will be sharing with seniors on how to avoid fraud.

“Slow things down, talk to somebody,” Cst. Cloutier said.

He explained that when it came to things like when it came to the CRA scam, the scammer relies on scare tactics, pressure and a sense of urgency in order to get money from their victim. Cloutier said that slowing things down and thinking about the situation is key to dealing with these scammers.

A CRA scam is when someone calls claiming to be from the Canada Revenue Agency and claims that there is a warrant out for the arrest of he potential victim unless they pay them quickly.

“The CRA would never call you and the police would not arrest you for back taxes,” Cloutier said. “If they CRA wanted to contact you, they would do so through registered mail.”

Cloutier explained that it was hard to pin down exactly how many people have been victims of scams because often victims feel too embarrassed to come forward.

“Unfortunately, a lot of scams go unreported because the victim feels too embarrassed,” said Cloutier. “We want victims to come forward so we can warn others.”

The CPS will also be introducing seniors to internet safety, rules around buying things online, and how to identify fake websites masquerading as real organizations.

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