Saturday, March 22, 2014

Elder Abuse through Crime and Fraud

Fraud and crime continue to target seniors in communities throughout my province.
These crimes happen in a variety of ways and places - in a senior's own home and increasingly, on social media.  
The BC Government is sharing the following safety tips with B.C. seniors in an effort to reduce these issues. 
Get to know your neighbours. 
  • Joining a watch group, such as Block Watch, encourages community cohesiveness and increases awareness of what is happening in the neighbourhood. 
  • When out and about in the community, stay in open areas with good  visibility, keep an eye out for suspicious activity, and carry a  cellphone in case of emergency.  
Recognize the signs of elder abuse. 
  • Often perpetrators are known to the victim, which can make it even more  difficult for seniors to break the cycle of abuse.
  • Prevention begins with the recognition of the signs of elder abuse and  reaching out to someone trusted for help. This can include family,  friends and local authorities.  
Learn how to avoid being defrauded. 
  • Personal information, including information on receipts and bank  statements, should be closely monitored and shredded prior to disposal. 
  • Only trusted and reputable organizations should be used. These can be  verified by contacting the Better Business Bureau (BBB) for a report.  
Don't over share on social media. 
  • More of today's seniors are using social media such as Facebook and  Twitter. 
  • Being aware of the risks and taking necessary precautions to keep  information private is essential to creating and maintaining a safe and  enjoyable social media experience.  

For a copy of the BC Crime Prevention Association's 2013 Senior Safety  Booklet, please contact 
To learn more about elder abuse, visit the BC Centre for Elder Advocacy  and Support online This is a great resource, and as I do workshops for them I highly recommend this resource to you.

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