I recently lost $7,500 to a scam on Kijiji; a large item in a remote Canadian location, payable only by Amazon.ca. Pictures and serial numbers lined up, but I was too hasty. Amazon is a secure online payment transfer service but not when the money is wired directly to another bank account – in Scotland!
While reporting this $7,500 fraud to the police, the officer relayed to me another story. A woman who works as a police officer warned her grandfather of the ‘son-in-prison-in-Mexico-scam.’ Sure enough, after the warning, this elderly grandfather received a call from a young man identifying himself as his grandson. He begged for several thousand dollars to help him get out of prison. Grandfather went to the bank and wired him the requested amount. The next day, the grandson asked for more money. Fortunately, the bank teller asked the right questions and identified the situation as a scam.
Many seniors in Manitoba (about 11,000 or 7%) are living with ongoing abuse, whether physical, financial or psychological. They are not only experiencing isolated incidents of abuse as above. The abuse most often occurs at the hands of someone the senior trusts. June 15 is World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD). If you thought about it, could you think of someone you know who is vulnerable and in a situation where they might be experiencing abuse - physically, financially or psychologically? Perhaps by a family member?
It is time to do something about it! Have a conversation with the person you know. Then call the Senior Abuse Help line: 1-888-896-7183 to get expert advice on what can be done!