Seniors' Safety

Safety Tips:

Apartment buildings, lodges, and care facilities

  • Lock your door when you leave your suite and when you arrive home - always use the dead bolt.
  • Don't allow someone that you don't know or immediately recognize into your building. Ask the person who they are, why they need into your building, and where they need to go.
  • If someone tries to follow you into your building, use another entrance or go back to your vehicle.
  • Do not keep large quantities of money in your suite.
  • Keep record of the large / more expensive items in your suite (jewellery).
  • Use your eye viewer ("peep hole" in door) to see who is knocking. If you don't recognize the person, don't open the door. As long as your door is locked, they can't bother you.

General personal safety

  • Do not carry large quantities of cash when you go out.
  • When possible, travel or shop with a friend. You are less likely to be intimidated or approached if you are with someone.
  • Avoid giving money to panhandlers.
  • If you feel threatened, go to the closest business or public space.
  • If you decide to give money to the panhandler or feel threatened, do not open your purse or wallet. This showcases how much cash or other valuables you are carrying. This could encourage a panhandler to become more aggressive or try to take your property.
  • Carry a cell phone for emergency purposes. Emergencies can happen at any time. Pay-as-you-go phones can be purchased for very little, and could save a life.

Credit and debit card

  • Protect your bank and credit card PIN numbers. Do not share your PIN.
  • Never provide personal information over the Internet or over the phone.
  • If you shop online, ensure there are good security protocols in place. Review your credit card statements for information security.
  • Only shop on reputable websites.
  • Immediately advise your bank if you suspect fraud.
  • Change your bank and credit card PIN numbers frequently.

Identity Theft

  • Never provide personal information over the phone to someone you don't know or completely trust.
  • If a caller is asking for your personal information (SIN number, date of birth, banking information, etc.) - hang up the phone. You can immediately end the call. It is not rude if you are protecting your personal information.
  • Never provide personal information over the Internet (email, social media, websites).
  • Properly shred anything with personal information on it.
  • Do not hesitate to question the caller. Ask why they are calling, who they work for, or ask to speak to their supervisor. Fraud artists generally cannot answer these questions.

Scams

Scams have many forms. Generally, the scam artist is attempting to get your personal information or money.

Scam artists may have some information about you (your middle name or date of birth) but will not know much else. If you are suspicious, challenge the scam artist to identify themselves. Ask for their identification, who they work for, or ask to speak to a supervisor.

The best way to stop a scam artist is hanging up the phone or closing the door.

  • If you don't recognize someone - don't open your door.
  • If someone comes to your door soliciting money or posing as a company employee, ask to see their identification. If they can't produce it, close and lock your door - call the police.
  • Do not send money responding to an Internet ad, offer, or sale unless it is from a reputable company website. These are often scams.
  • If a caller poses as a credit card company or bank representative ask them to provide their information, your information, and ask to speak to a supervisor. Most scam artists don't have the information you and your credit card company / bank have. They also won't have a supervisor.
  • Advise your credit card company or bank if someone calls. Your credit card / bank card information may have already been stolen.
  • If you are asked to send money to a family member, relative, or family friend, it is likely a scam. Ask the caller to provide detailed information that only you and your family members know. Ask the caller about a family member that doesn't exist. If the caller insists they are doing well - they are obviously lying.
  • If you identify a scam, report it:
    • Tell your neighbours.
    • Tell staff.
    • Tell the police.

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