Police offer tips to protect seniors from fraud

LONDON – The OPP is warning residents, especially seniors and senior caregivers, to be on the look out for fraudsters. 

This is the time of year that they come out of the woodwork in droves.

Already this year, the OPP has seen several scams against the elderly by fraud­sters posing as water purifica­tion experts, ripping off the victims for hundreds of dollars. 

Fly-by-night home repair or maintenance fraudsters run amok this time of year, tar­get­ing victims, especially the eld­erly, selling products or ser­vices that are of little to no val­ue to the client.

The fraudsters are often very pushy and rude and prey on those who are weak or living alone.

Solutions to stop fraud

The OPP has a number of suggestions to avoid being defrauded

1. Always get at least three quotes on any project around the house regardless of the ser­vice or product being purchas­ed or sold. 

2. Never sign a contract with­out checking the credibi­lity of the company or person selling the product or service.

3. Elderly persons or those with little business experience should never sign a contract without running it by a trusted family member, friend or neighbour.

4. Never fully open or un­lock the door to unknown people.  Talk through a locked or secured door to strangers.  If they are not wanted at the door tell them to “Go away.” If they don’t, call the police. 

5. Report suspicious per­sons or activity to police imme­diately.

There is no magic to preventing fraud. If something sounds too good to be true or seems a little “weird” it prob­ably is. Trust your instincts; not the stranger at your door.