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BBB Warning of Top 10 Seniors Scams

BBB Warning of Top 10 Seniors Scams

SEPTEMBER 6, 2017 – CALGARY, ALBERTA – September 10 was National Grandparents Day and while Canadians are taking time to recognize and celebrate senior citizens for their family and community contributions, BBB says it’s also a time to protect seniors. With seniors often being the target of scammers, BBB is educating the elderly about how to avoid potential pitfalls of too-good-to-be-true deals.

“Better Business Bureau is proud to pay tribute to seniors, and thank them for the valuable contributions they continue to make in our families, workplaces and communities,” says Mary O’Sullivan-Andersen, president and CEO of BBB Serving Southern Alberta and East Kootenay. “National Grandparents Day is an opportunity to remind seniors that BBB is a voice of trust in a sometimes dishonest marketplace, and we are here to educate seniors as well as people of all ages about common scams.”

BBB presents the Top 10 Seniors Scams and how savvy seniors can avoid them:

Scam Scam Description How to avoid it
1.    Grandparent Scammers pretending to be grandchildren contact seniors claiming to be in trouble and in need of immediate financial assistance. Check with family to ensure your grandchildren are safe. Never wire money to someone until you’ve confirmed their identity.
2.   Funeral Unscrupulous funeral home owners will take advantage of people in their time of grief and vastly overcharge for caskets, services or unnecessary items while the victim is vulnerable. Plan and pay for your funeral in advance – but do your research and bring a friend with you.
3.   Bereavement Scammers scour the obituaries and contact victims who recently lost a loved-one claiming the deceased had unpaid bills or debts that must be paid right away. Arrange to have a trusted family member or friend handle all financial matters in the days following the loss of a loved one.
4.  Sweetheart While romancing the victim and earning their trust, the scammer may gain access to personal and financial information. When the scam is over, the victim is left broke and broken-hearted. Keep your personal and financial documents locked at home in a safe place – do not carry them with you and do not share them with anyone. Avoid making rash, emotional decisions.
5.   Affinity fraud Fraudsters use groups of friends, colleagues, religious groups, ethnic groups or other people who inherently trust one another to build support for the next “great investment.” This investment turns out to be a fraud and leaves a trail of broken relationships and bank accounts behind. Never accept a verbal agreement and never sign a document before reading it carefully.
6.  Door-to-door/telemarketer Aggressive sales people use high-pressure sales tactics to intimidate seniors into buying things they don’t need. If you’re at the door or on the phone with a high-pressure sales person and you’re uncomfortable – hang up or close the door. If you feel threatened, call the police.
7.   Fly-by-night contractor The scammer approaches the homeowner saying they noticed their roof (or some other feature) needs repair and that, since they’re in the area, they can give the homeowner a great deal if they give a deposit today. After taking the deposit, the scammer disappears along with the homeowner’s money. When hiring a contractor to work on your home, get three written estimates, check references and research your rights regarding contracts and cooling-off periods.
8.   Inheritance scam A fraudster contacts victims out of the blue posing as a lawyer, banker or official to announce they are the beneficiary of a wealthy distant relative who has died overseas. There is a fee to claim the large inheritance. Once the victim wires the fee, the scammer disappears. Check with family and relatives to confirm that a loved one has in fact passed and left an inheritance. Also check with your own lawyer before proceeding.
9.  Employment scam Victims find a too-good-to-be-true opportunity to make thousands of dollars working from home. The scammer then instructs the new employee to send money up-front for supplies, admin fees, etc. and then disappears leaving the victim with no job and a thinner wallet. If you receive an unsolicited phone call, ask for a number to call them back and confirm they are who they say they are before returning the call. Ask a trusted friend, loved one or contact BBB to help you research the company and the job offer.
10.Charity scam Often in the wake of a catastrophe like a hurricane, flood or terrorist act, scammers will set up “relief funds” to help survivors and solicit donations from victims. The gift goes right into the scammer’s pocket and both the victims of the scam and of the catastrophe have lost their money. Ensure your donations go only to recognized charities registered with Revenue Canada.

For more tips you can trust, visit bbb.org

“101” Year Young Member Still Going Strong

“101” Year Young Member Still Going Strong

The Canada 55 Plus Board is pleased to wish a very Happy Birthday to Marg Harris who turned “101” years young on July 15, 2017.

Marg Harris was born July 15,1916 and lives in rural Nova Scotia. She has attended every Nova Scotia 55+ Games which was started in 2005, has attended every Canada 55+ games except 2008 & 2016 and was a bowler up until 2014. She now participates in duplicate and contract bridge, and is intending to go to the 2018 games in Saint John. She will be the oldest participant ever at 102.

Congratulations Marg!

The Canada 55 Plus Games Board of Directors

News From Manitoba

News From Manitoba

Many of the participants taking part in this year’s Manitoba 55 Plus Games in the Killarney-Turtle Mountain area will undoubtedly feel some pressure to perform.
The same might also be said of the event’s organizers. The 2017 Games will mark the third time Killarney has hosted the province’s largest annual multi-sport event, making it the first rural Manitoba community to do so.

Killarney Host Committee Co-chairs: Bob Moore (left) & Rob MacTavish (right)

New Brunswick Games Update

New Brunswick Games Update

The 2017 N.B. 55+ Games will be held in the Sussex-Hampton area. Contrary to previous years, the Games this year will be in the fall instead of June; September 21 to 23.

See http://nb55plusgames.ca/ for more details

News from Northwest Territories

News from Northwest Territories

NWT NOTES

Team NWT has been attending the Canada 55+ Games since 2004. Over the years we have had participation in 5 pin and candlepin Bowling, Bridge, Cribbage, Scrabble, Mens hockey, Swimming, Golf, 8 ball Pool, Darts, Tennis, Curling, Cycling, Horseshoes and Lawn Bowling.

What’s new? We have recently formed NWT 55+ Games Association. The goals are:

  1. To maintain membership in Canada Senior Games Association
  2. To facilitate members’ attendance at the Canada 55+ Games
  3. To encourage seniors to participate in sports and recreation
  4. To promote the benefits of an active lifestyle for seniors.

We hope that this organization will increase the number of communities providing participants, as well as the number of participants attending the Games. In the future it may even be possible to hold Territorial Games in the years between the National Games if we can find a way to overcome the obstacle of high travel costs.

 

Nova Scotia 55+ Games 2017

Nova Scotia 55+ Games 2017

The Nova Scotia Organizing Committee is well underway with planning for the 2017 Provincial Games September 13 -1 6 in Lunenburg County. Read more here

55plusbright

 

Committee members pose for a picture at the Lunenburg County Lifestyle Centre.  Back row from left to right:  Chad Haughn, Heather Hanlon, Carroll Randall, Robin Scott, Cathy MacDonald. Front row from left to right:  Janice Rand, Dawn Randall, Ida Scott, Allison Weagle.