When a person is considered vulnerable, they can easily become a target for those looking to cheat them out of their assets, or to abuse them physically, emotionally, mentally for financial or personal gain. As such, a person who is of advanced age, ill or frail must be vigilant to fraud. There are a number of resources and services available that can:
- help increase our awareness of fraud;
- help us protect ourselves from fraud; and,
- to know what recourse is available if fraud has been committed.
Report all fraud and scams to your local police department or contact the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at 1.888.495.8501.
Many communities in Nova Scotia have a Senior Safety Coordinator. As stated on the Nova Scotia Department of Seniors website, their role is to promote awareness about senior abuse prevention, crime prevention, and safety and health issues. A listing of Senior Safety Coordinators can be found here, as well as the RCMP Senior Safety Guide
You may be interested in Fraud: What it is and how can I protect myself? in our 2015 Fall/Winter newsletter for caregivers, The Beacon. For more in-depth information, there is also a series of 8 fact sheets on financial planning and protection which includes these topics :
- Financial Planning
- Income and Benefits from Government Programs
- Managing and Protecting their Assets
- Planning for Possible Loss of Independence
- Planning for their Future Housing Needs
- Having a Will and Making Funeral Plans
- Financial Abuse
- Frauds and Scams
- Powers of Attorney (for financial matters/property) and Joint Bank Accounts
Understanding Senior Abuse is a booklet published by the Nova Scotia Department of Seniors which identifies abuse and offers tips on keeping yourself safe from neglect or a violation of your rights and freedoms. It is also available in French.