|National Association of Federal Retirees|
Peel Halton and Area Branch
|Phone Frauds, Phishing, Pharming, Rip-offs and Stalking predators who prey on Seniors:
Stalking predators who prey on seniors - "...The lowlifes who scam you, your grandma or abuse your elderly neighbour's trust aren't always strangers, authorities say..."
On February 26, 2007 the Toronto Star's Life writer (Nancy J. White) produced an article that you all should read. Visit www.thestar.com/article/185591 for details.
With permission from the Toronto Star we have reproduced parts of the article for your information: CLICK HERE for helpful hints and information.
Phishing - the sending of fraudulent e-mails purporting to originate from legitimate financial institutions or businesses, asking you to click on a link in order to update your confidential information - If you follow the instructions you will be passing confidential password and other information to the imposters - this could cost you a "lot of money" and grief.
Pharming - the sending of spyware or other codes, usually via unsolicited e-mails, to your computer that will redirect your attempt to visit legitimate websites to fake websites (sometimes made to look like legitimate websites) -- either to make you view their ads, or to get you to enter confidential information when you try to sign on.
To learn more about these security breaches go to: http://www.antiphishing.org.
To report the receipt of such attacks/e-mails write to: email@example.com Relay the suspected fraudulent e-mail - information to that e-mail address - if possible open your e-mail - click on Properties and Details - and copy the e-mail header information into your report as it may help in tracing the origin of the fraudulent e-mail.
You can protect your system by installing reputable anti-virus and anti-spyware software. If you happen to deal with the institution/firm from which the e-mail purports to originate then contact your own Branch or store (do not click on the hypertext link in the e-mail message). Remember most financial institutions and reputable stores would not ask you to provide user id's and/or passwords or other account information via e-mail.
Ripoffreport.com ...Search this site if you have concerns about specific groups.
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Other Frauds, Nigerian Scams etc.
To read more about other frauds and scams visit WWW.BBEAN.COM/Frauds-or-Scams/
The Canada Revenue Agency warns Canadians of mail scam
The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) is warning taxpayers to beware of a recent scam where some Canadians are receiving a letter fraudulently identified as coming from the CRA and asking for personal information. The letter is not from the CRA. A PDF version of the letter is available on the CRA Web site at www.cra.gc.ca/alert.
The letter claims that there is "insufficient information" for the individual’s tax return and that in order to receive any "claims," they will have to update their records. The letter attaches a form specifically requesting the individual’s personal information in writing, via fax or email, including information on bank accounts and passports. This letter is not from the CRA and Canadians should not provide their personal information to the sender.
All taxpayers should be vigilant when divulging any confidential information to third parties. The CRA has well established practices to protect the confidentiality of taxpayers’ information.
The CRA has notified the proper law enforcement authorities of this scam.
For information about this and other similar scams, or to report deceptive telemarketing activity, visit www.phonebusters.com, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 1-888-495-8501.
|This information is "...Reproduced with permission - Torstar Syndication Services..."
The lowlifes who scam your grandma or abuse your elderly neighbour's trust, aren't always strangers, authorities say ...
...reproduced from a February 26, 2007 Toronto Star article, written by Life Writer "Nancy J. White".
To read the full article visit www.thestar.com/article/185591.
"...They've heard it all. The salesman's knock, then pitch: "Sign up now for new installed windows at our amazing seniors' discount." and the telemarketers' calls: "The XYZ children's charity needs your help." or "You've won a free Caribbean cruise!".
At a seminar on elder abuse and fraud ... seniors talked about the gamut of cons they've heard, from silver-tongued salesmen to phishing schemes (e-mail attempts to get personal financial information) and ways to protect themselves.
Sadly, the financial abusers aren't always strangers.
Friends, family and hired caregivers have been caught dipping into a senior's bank account, even wiping out a life's savings.
...About 150,000 to 160,000 Ontario seniors suffer abuse - financial, emotional, physical - every year."
According to the article scams including the sale of phoney bonds; telemarketer calls to suggest that you have won big sums of money which can only be released if you pay certain costs; phoney home repair or improvement proposals where you have to pay money up-front; and the impersonation of Health Care workers or counsellors, who calls on the senior and then steals whatever they can while the senior is not looking.
The article provides some cautionary notes and contact points for your use:
Catch the con: How to tell if you're a target.
Some important tips from PhoneBusters on how to recognize a scam. It could be a scam if:
- It sounds too good to be true
- You must pay or you can't play. You've won something but need to send money to get it.
- You must give the caller your private financial information.
- The caller insists you send cash or a money order, not a cheque.
- The caller is trying to get you excited about a great opportunity.
- The person calling claims to be a tax official, banking officer or someone with the authority to ask personal question.
- The stranger calling behaves as if he or she is your buddy.
- A warning that "You must act immediately or you'll miss out on this offer".
To recognize if a relative or friend is the target of fraudulent telemarketers, PhoneBusters advises watching for:
- An increase in the mail with too-good-to-be-true offers.
- Frequent calls about valuable awards or from unfamiliar charities.
- A sudden inability to pay regular bills, or requests for loans.
- Banking records showing cheques or withdrawals to unfamiliar companies.
- Secretive behaviour about phone calls.
Websites, phone numbers for answers, assistance:
For more information on elder financial abuse and to get help, please call or visit:
- The Ontario Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse -- an advocacy and public education group that also directs victims to services and support around the province -- www.onpea.org (416-640-7784).
- The Victim Support Line directs a caller to the proper services, 416-314-2447, or toll-free 1-888-579-2888, 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., seven days a week.
- Local police, in Toronto the main non-emergency number is 416-808-2222. (...check your telephone directory's blue pages for the Peel, Halton and area police telephone numbers...). Explain your problem to the operator, who will direct your call appropriately, and officers can offer advice.
- PhoneBusters, the national anti-fraud call centre operated by the OPP and RCMP. Its the central agency collecting information on telemarketing and identity theft complaints. It offers a seniors support program. 1-888-495-8501 or www.phonebusters.com
- Revenue Canada will check to see if a charity is registered. 1-800-267-2384, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday to Friday.
- Consumer Protection Branch, Ministry of Government Services, legal information. 1-800-889-9768 or 416-326-8800.
To read the full article visit www.thestar.com/article/185591
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