Seniors are often victimized by fraudsters telephoning and pretending to be family members. From our partners at the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre, here are some tips on “The Emergency Scam”.

The scam is operated by fraudsters claiming to be a family member or a close friend of a family member and advising the potential victim about an urgent situation that requires immediate funds. Common themes have been that the family member was arrested or got into an accident while traveling abroad. Thus fees are required for hospital expenses, or bail.

Since 2009, the CAFC has received 17,132 emergency scam complaints were received accounting for more than 24 million dollars in reported losses. The average loss per victim was $3,743.07. Of the 17,132 complaints there were 11,889 emergency scam occurrences reported by Canadians.

How to Protect Yourself

Confirm with other relatives the whereabouts of the family member or friend.

Police, Judges or legal entities will never request that money be sent through money service business such as Western Union, MoneyGram.

Never voluntarily give out family members names or information to unknown callers.

Always question urgent requests for money.

If you think you or someone you know has been a victim of fraud, please contact the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at 1-888-495-8501 or Fraud: Recognize It, Report It, Stop It.