Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

March 03, 2011 14:00 ET

Government of Canada Marks Fraud Prevention Month

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - March 3, 2011) - The Honourable Julian Fantino, Minister of State (Seniors), today marked Fraud Prevention Month and emphasized that financial abuse and fraud are real problems affecting seniors from all walks of life.

"While anyone can be a victim of fraud, this type of abuse is the number one crime against older Canadians," said Minister of State Fantino. "Fraud Prevention Month provides us with an opportunity to educate ourselves on the signs of fraud and financial abuse, and on how seniors can better protect themselves."

The three most common forms of fraud are telemarketing scams, the cloning or skimming of debit or credit cards, and identity theft. Financial abuse against seniors includes everything from illegal or unauthorized use of a senior's money or property, to pressuring a senior to change his or her will.

Through its elder abuse awareness campaign, the Government of Canada is increasing awareness of the signs and symptoms of elder abuse in all of its forms, and provides information on what support is available. 

For more information on the Government of Canada's commitments regarding seniors, including elder abuse awareness initiatives, visit

This news release is available in alternative formats upon request.


Tips on Preventing Financial Abuse and Fraud

To take action against financial abuse and fraud, seniors can help protect themselves by:

  • Keeping all personal documents in a secure place. Birth certificates, passports or Social Insurance Number cards should not be carried around unless they are needed.

  • Never telling another person their Personal Identification Number (PIN) or account passwords, and taking care to cover their hand when entering their PIN at bank machines and when making store purchases.

  • Safely disposing of old bills and statements—shredding is best.

  • Not clicking on pop-up windows, responding to emails, opening attachments or going to website links sent by people they do not know. Banks or credit unions will not send anything by email unless requested to do so.

  • Never giving out their credit card, bank account or personal information to someone over the phone, at the door or over the Internet unless they know the person or organization they are dealing with, or they made the contact.

  • Not signing an agreement or contract to buy anything without giving themselves time to think it over. If a salesperson insists that an "offer" is "time limited" and they must decide that moment, it is probably better not to buy.

  • Being suspicious if someone they do not know asks them to send money or a cheque, or to return money they "accidentally" sent them.

  • Asking for proof of identity and references and checking them before hiring someone or agreeing to have work done on their home.

For more information on the Government of Canada's elder abuse awareness initiatives, visit or contact 1 800 O-Canada (1-800-622-6232). People using a teletypewriter (TTY) can call 1-800-926-9105.

Contact Information

  • Office of Minister of State Fantino
    Heather Domereckyj
    Director of Communications
    Human Resources and Skills Development Canada
    Media Relations Office