Smart 55: Seniors advised on how to recognize scams

The other day I received a phone call that went “Thank you for flying with Westjet ..."

Pat Cassidy

Smart 55

The other day I received a phone call that went “Thank you for flying with Westjet, as a result we would like to reward you with a free trip;” at this point I hung up.

Why?

I have not flown with Westjet and the call was obviously a scam.

If the conversation had continued, they would have asked for my credit card, etc.

It seem that scammers are getting more inventive these days. Every other day I get calls such as: grandma I need money, your computer is corrupt and needs fixing, we can get you a better rate with your Visa, etc. and seniors are so vulnerable to these scams.

So at last Old Age Pensioners Organization meeting we had a guest speaker to make us aware of the scams and frauds and what to do to protect ourselves. Mr. Dave Dickson, from community safety, Williams Lake RCMP detachment gave a very interesting presentation.

Firstly, whether it be a bank, credit card company or Revenue Canada asking for information or money over the phone.

You couldn’t win a lottery or a trip if you didn’t buy a ticket. Never give money to receive a cheque from the purchaser way above the asking price and the sender stating that he made the cheque in error and could you please return the difference.

You would go to the bank and the cheque will be accepted and so you can send the difference away.

But then a few days later the bank will tell you that the cheque did not clear and you will be responsible to make good on the original amount.

In these days when most everyone owns a cell phone, here is something to be aware of.

If a number appears on your phone and you do not recognize it, do not phone that number because if you do phone you will be charged by the minute for the call anywhere from $4 and up per minute for the call.

If it is a legitimate call let the caller call you back.

New scams are always popping up, so I will advise you not to readily part with your money or information.

Take the time to check with relatives or scam division or the RCMP before you take action.

The Seniors Activity Centre will be closed from Aug. 17 to 29 for the summer break and will open again for activities on Monday, Aug. 31.

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