Montreal police are reminding senior citizens and their loved ones to remain vigilant.
According to the police, a 53-year-old woman was arrested and charged with impersonating a 90-year-old patient in the long-term care residence where she was working and was fraudulently using the patient’s credit cards.
The SPVM (Service de police de la Ville de Montréal) says the accused called the elderly lady’s bank, pretending to be her. She obtained a new PIN number by mail “on the grounds that she needed to buy new hearing aids.” The suspect then used the credit card to make various purchases and withdrew money.
When the fraud was uncovered, the bank reimbursed the elderly lady’s $6,593.70.
Since being fired from the residence, the alleged thief now faces two counts of fraud of over $5,000 and identity theft with intent to gain benefit.
As per the SPVM, more seniors are victims of fraud and theft, committed by someone they trust, whether it’s a caregiver, home help or an employee of a private or public residence.
Situations of financial mistreatment can last for a long time before it is noticed by appropriate authorities.
Police are urging seniors, their family members and caregivers to keep an eye on bank accounts and expenses, especially during the holidays. The SPVM recommends contacting financial institutions directly if there are any concerns.
Other fraud prevention tips, as stated by the SPVM are as follows:
- Avoid giving out personal information to staff
- Do not disclose personal information, bank account info and social insurance numbers by email, messaging or Internet
- Use a shredder to destroy old documents that contain personal information
- Remember your PIN and never write it on your financial cards
- Never disclose your PIN to anyone, even if they are making a purchase for you
- Keep your chequebook in a safe place
- Check your banking information several times a month
- Check your credit history once a year
- Banks generally allow 30 days after issuing a monthly statement to report any discrepancies.
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