Autumn Glen Lodge seniors learned some of the signs and dangers of elder abuse and were given a few tips on how to protect themselves late last month.
Innisfail RCMP Const. Myles Hayden and Bev Sliger, the coordinator from Victim Services, conducted a presentation to the seniors with a goal to increase awareness of elder abuse.
The presentation informed seniors about how to figure out if someone they know could be abusing their position to get money or get them to sign cheques. Sliger and Hayden described some of the signs of elder abuse that are evident when someone is being taken advantage of.
They then talked about Power of Attorney and how to choose the right person to help with a senior’s finances and manage their assets.
The main part of the presentation however was on scams and some of the ways people fraudulently target seniors.
Phone scams and credit card fraud were both covered during the presentation. Seniors were advised what to do if they don’t recognize the phone number, or if someone is asking for personal information over the phone, or when someone is telling you that you won something you didn’t enter for.
“If it is too good to be true, it probably is,” said Sliger, warning the seniors of many phone scams.
One of the current scams targeting seniors is the “Grandchild Scam”, where someone calls a senior posing as their grandchild and says they are in trouble and need money to help them get out.
Often these people can have a lot of information - even having the name of the grandchildren right, said Hayden of the scam.
Often these predators call in the middle of the night when a senior may be tired or disoriented and unsure this may not be their grandchild.
One senior said she had been targeted in a phone scam where someone called her to renew her car insurance.
“I haven’t had a car in 10 years,” she laughed, but was serious when said she knew what they were doing was wrong and hung up on them.
After the presentation one senior commented that a lot of it was information he had heard before but that it never hurts to hear it again.
“They are right. If it sounds too good to be true it probably is.”
Sliger and Hayden said they thought the presentation went well, adding seniors were attentive and understood the information.