It’s important for people to know how to avoid becoming a victim of fraud, says Red Deer RCMP Const. Andrew Devine.
“We really need to educate the public as much as possible about the different schemes and tricks the fraudsters are using to basically manipulate people into being victimized,” said Devine.
Red Deer RCMP and the Central Alberta Crime Prevention Centre gave a presentation about fraud prevention to residents of the Hamlets at Red Deer in Gasoline Alley Friday afternoon.
Many fraudsters aim to get personal information from victims, said Devine.
“With that personal information they can do a ton of different things: they can open credit cards in your name, take out loans in your name, they can steal your identity,” he said.
There are many ways people can become a victim of fraud.
Fraudsters “use a ton of different stories and tricks to manipulate people into getting personal information or to manipulate people into transferring money,” said Devine.
“There’s romance scams, which are very popular – they basically trick the person into thinking they’re in a relationship together. There’s the grandparents scam, where you’ll get a call in the middle of the night and it’s someone claiming to be your grandson, who says they’re in trouble and they need bail money after being arrested or something to that nature.”
Red Deerians who believe they have been targeted by a fraud scam are encouraged to contact Red Deer RCMP.
“Not everyone reports when they’re a victim of fraud because there can be some embarrassment. But the RCMP still want to encourage everyone to report those to the police, so we can investigate,” he said.
Michael Burkinshaw, CACPC community partnership specialist, said seniors can be a typical target for scammers.
“They appear to be from a generation that is more trusting, they’re a little less tech savvy, so if something suspicious comes up they might not always catch it, and they’re commonly retired so they have some funds they might be sitting on,” said Burkinshaw.
Rada Trninic, CACPC community and safety specialist, said all residents, regardless of age, should learn fraud prevention tips.
“Not only seniors are affected by this, but all of the population. It’s important we make sure the word is out – it helps make fewer victims,” Trninic said.