Saturday, December 13, 2008

risk of fraud

One of the things that puts seniors at risk are those who provide private care. A Toronto Star article, "Woman charged with fraud", speaks of a woman who took advantage of a 90-year old man. I cannot believe it. If you want to understand more of the risk go and read T is for Trespass, by Sue Grafton. It scared me, as I realized what can be done to those who trust others.

As with pedophiles, fraudsters lull victims with a false sense of security. They groom their victims, slowly taking more and more liberties. Often, grateful seniors offer gifts in return for paid services. This is a huge mistake and changes the boundaries between service provider and care recipient.

Seniors, as well as the disabled, are vulnerable to those who provide private, intimate care. make sure, if you purchase services that you use a dependable organization such as Red Cross, VON, and private companies with track records. In Muskoka, The Friends is a Transfer Payment Agency, a non-profit, that provides for seniors and the disabled. They have PSW and staff members who have had training, who are monitored and protocols, policies and procedures.

Above all, if you are a family member, check in at various times of the day. Check our what is going on. Ensure that you know what your family member is doing, i.e., does not have dementia, and can maintain responsibility for his/her finances. Be vigilant. Ask questions.
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In Toronto:
Anyone with information on this or similar incidents is asked to contact the Central Fraud Bureau at 1-866-876-5423, ext. 6671, Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS, or leave an anonymous tip online at www.1800222tips.com.

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