Sunday, January 20, 2019

A frog walked into...

Many thanks to my cousin Lorraine for this one:
A frog goes into a bank and approaches the teller. He can see from her nameplate that her name is Patty Whack.
"Miss Whack, I'd like to get a $30,000 loan to take a holiday."

Patty looks at the frog in disbelief and asks his name. The frog says his name is Kermit Jagger, his dad is Mick Jagger, and that it's okay, he knows the bank manager.

Patty explains that he will need to secure the loan with some collateral.
The frog says, "Sure. I have this," and produces a tiny porcelain elephant, about an inch tall, bright pink and perfectly formed.
Very confused, Patty explains that she'll have to consult with the bank manager and disappears into a back office.
She finds the manager and says, "There's a frog called Kermit Jagger out there who claims to know you and wants to borrow $30,000, and he wants to use this as collateral." She holds up the tiny pink elephant. "I mean, what in the world is this?"
(You're gonna love this.)
The bank manager looks back at her and says, "It's a knickknack, Patty Whack. Give the frog a loan. His old man's a Rolling Stone."
(You sang it, didn't you? Yeah, I know you did.)
Never take life too seriously.
★♫.•Pass it on!! Give someone else a reason to smile.

Saturday, January 19, 2019

The 10th fraud used against seniors

The 10th fraud used against seniors is the Income Tax Scams
Scammers, who pose as Canada Revenue Agency agents, will use emails, phone calls and regular mail and even text messages to get money and personal information. Often the phone calls seem urgent and the scammers will use aggressive language or threats to scare people into making payments. 

To protect yourself from this type of fraud, do not respond; report the call to the police. My simple rule is that if the phone rings, and I do not know the number, I don’t answer the phone. If you receive an email from Revenue Canada, delete it. Remember that Revenue Canada will only contact you by letter. 

If you receive, either by telephone, mail, text message or email, a communication that claims to be from the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) requesting personal information such as a social insurance number, credit card number, bank account number, or passport number, it is a fraud.

These communications may insist that this personal information is needed so that you can receive a refund or a benefit payment. The communication could also involve threatening or coercive language to scare individuals into paying a fictitious debt to the CRA. Other communications may urge you to visit a fake CRA website where you are asked to verify their identity by entering personal information. These are scams and you should never respond to these communications or click on any of the links provided.

To identify communications, not from the CRA, be aware of these guidelines (taken from Revenue Canada Website).

If you receive a call saying you owe money to the CRA, you can call us or check My Account to be sure.

If you have signed up for online mail (available through My Account, My Business Account, and Represent a Client), the CRA will do the following:
  • send a registration confirmation email to the address you provided for online mail service for an individual or a business; and
  • send an email to the address you provided to notify you when new online mail is available to view in the CRA's secure online services portal.

The CRA will not do the following:
  • send email with a link and ask you to divulge personal or financial information
  • ask for personal information of any kind by email or text message.
  • request payments by prepaid credit cards.
  • give taxpayer information to another person, unless formal authorization is provided by the taxpayer.
  • leave personal information on an answering machine.

If you call the CRA to request a form or a link for specific information, a CRA agent will forward the information you are requesting to your email during the telephone call. This is the only circumstance in which the CRA will send an email containing links.

When in doubt, ask yourself the following:
  • Did I sign up to receive online mail through My Account, My Business Account, or Represent a Client?
  • Did I provide my email address on my income tax and benefit return to receive mail online?
  • Am I expecting more money from the CRA?
  • Does this sound too good to be true?
  • Is the requester asking for information I would not provide in my tax return?
  • Is the requester asking for information I know the CRA already has on file for me?

Friday, January 18, 2019

The 8th and 9th Frauds used against seniors

The 8th fraud used against seniors  are the Anti-aging Scams
Anti-ageing scams take many forms and the wording and specifics of the scams change all the time. If a product claims to reduce ageing, or make you feel or look younger, it is more likely a scam. The following is taken from an article, Some Notes on "Anti-Aging" Programs by Robert N. Butler, M.D.
Some individuals and organizations would have us believe that ageing is not inevitable and that "immortality is within our grasp." These same individuals believe that there exist well-validated biomarkers of ageing that can be used to design individualized "anti-ageing" programs. This approach is expensive and includes poorly validated interventions such as improving antioxidant status and replacing growth hormone (GH), testosterone, dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), and melatonin.
Although growth hormone levels decline with age, it has not been proven that trying to maintain the levels that exist in young persons is beneficial. It is conceivable that age-related hormonal changes may serve as useful markers of physiological ageing. However, this has not been demonstrated experimentally for either humans or animals. Although hormone-replacement trials have yielded some positive results (at least in the short term), it is clear that negative side effects can also occur in the form of increased risk for cancer, cardiovascular disease, and behaviour changes.
It might even turn out that lower growth-hormone levels are an indicator of health. Research findings indicate that mice that overproduce growth hormones live only a short time, suggesting that growth-hormone deficiency itself does not cause accelerated ageing, but that the opposite may be true.
 Remember there is no way to reverse ageing no matter what you may read.
The #9 fraud used against seniors is the Cemetery, Funeral and Cremation Scams.
Scammers read obituaries and take advantage of the grieving survivor by claiming the deceased owes an outstanding debt and then extorts money to settle the false claim.
Disreputable funeral homes prey on the unfamiliarity of family members with the considerable costs of services by adding unnecessary charges to the bill.
To protect yourself from this fraud, remember that it’s hard to make rational business decisions in grief. If there is a calmer, more stoic family member who has good business sense, it may be best for this person to make the funeral arrangements.

Thursday, January 17, 2019

The 7th fraud used against seniors.

The 7th fraud use against seniors is the Shady Contractor Fraud

This fraud is used to swindle both homeowners and renters. The first variation is a Home Repair Rip-off.  Fraudulent contractors may knock on the door and offer a special price because (they are working in the neighbourhood, they are new to the area, etc.). They may offer the senior a discount to use the home to advertise their product. A contractor may conduct a free inspection and then suggest you need MAJOR repairs (e.g. due to asbestos, radon, termites or structural flaw). The free inspection may be in order to plan a theft. The free inspection scam is also used at garages where a free inspection is offered for your vehicles and then it is discovered that you have major repairs which you pay for but they are not done.

In this home Repair Rip-off scheme, the contractors may, demand a large down payment for materials. They will be reluctant to give you a written contract, or they may take your deposit and never return to do the work.
In some cases, the contractor will start and then do only part of the work and then refuse to continue unless you pay more. If you are not careful in checking the contractor may do shoddy work or will tell you they are using high standard materials when in fact they are using inferior materials. Some contractors will complete the job but significantly overcharge for unforeseen expenses.

A second variation of this fraud is called the Public Utility Imposters.
The fraud works this way. Two people arrive at your door claiming to be from a public utility company inspection service.
One asks you to accompany her to the water-metre or electrical panel elsewhere in the house while the other one waits by the door or asks to use the washroom.
To protect yourself from this type of fraud always ask for ID and if no ID is produced call the police. If you talk to a contractor ask to see their business license and insurance coverage. Always ask for at least 3 to 4 references and check them. Check the name of the company and the name of the contractor with your local Better Business Bureau. If any work is going to be done on your house or apartment, always get the proposal in writing and compare with other companies and do not be pressured into signing anything.

If you are approached by someone claiming to be from a Public Utility company, to protect yourself, tell them you will arrange an appointment for another time; do not let them in. Immediately contact the utility company to check the legitimacy of the visit. If it was not legitimate, contact the police.