You have heard the saying…”it takes one to know one”? That is the approach HomeEquity Bank is taking to share tips on protecting yourself against fraud. And they have hired a previously convicted con man to do the job.
In a series of video entitled, Catch the Scam with Frank Abagnale, the world’s most famous con man-turned-FBI consultant shares tips on how to protect yourself against scams.
In the videos, Abagnale highlights a few of the most relevant scams currently targeting seniors:
The Grandparent Scam, also referred to as grandchild scams. These types of scams typically begin with a phone call with someone pretending to be your grandchild. The scammer then tries to convince you, your grandchild has been in a car accident or maybe even arrested and to help them out of the difficult situation you need to wire money to the fraudster.
The Lottery Scam can begin with an unexpected email or phone explaining that you have won a large sum of money and to call a claims agent. In order to collect the money, processing fees or transfer charges need to happen. Sadly you remit those fees but will never receive a lottery payment.
The CRA Scam has been on the rise with impersonators calling and requesting personal data and financial information from you. CRA will never call and request that of information over the phone. Hang up.
And finally the Romance Scam. The is heartbreaking when lonely seniors are tricked into building a a relationship with someone feigning romantic intentions while gaining their affection and trust and then using the goodwill that is established to commit a fraud.
HomeEquity Bank thought bringing in Frank Abagnale would get people’s attention and this is clearly a topic that needs attention.
There does tend to be a lot of fraud coverage and for the fraudsters it is big business. Scams like these have bilked Canadians out of $54 million dollars so far this year.
What can you do to protect yourself?
According to Abagnale, be on the alert when people ask for money or information and always be on your guard if there is ever a sense of urgency or pressure is applied. He also recommends that you never use a debit card. In fact, he doesn’t – ever. The reason for this is because credit cards have better coverage for fraudulent charges than debit cards and it is easier to raise a dispute.
Fraudsters are savvy and they will exploit your vulnerabilities in a heartbeat. Let’s stop them in their tracks by simply taking a few precautions and begin with saying “No thank you” when you’re asked to divulge and personal or money data.
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