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How to protect your parents from robocalls

Beautiful grandmother at home sitting at the table and using smart phone.

(NC) We’ve all received one – a telephone call with a pre-recorded message demanding some type of action or information, either to avoid a penalty or to win a prize. Robocalls use an automatic dialer to reach large numbers of people. They can be used for telemarketing and political campaigns, as well as scams.

Seniors can be more vulnerable to robocalls and other phone scams. You can help protect your elderly parents from fraudsters hoping to steal their money or financial information by sharing these tips:

  • Know that reputable organizations rarely ask for your personal information through unsolicited phone, email or text contact.
  • Let communications from unknown callers go to voicemail. If it’s important, they’ll leave a message.
  • Avoid providing your personal information over the phone, via text message, email or the internet.
  • Take time to verify the story, whether it’s someone claiming to be from the CRA or a “grandchild” needing money in an emergency. Scammers are counting on you wanting to act quickly based on fear, not facts.
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  • Be suspicious if someone asks for copies of your passport, driver’s license and social insurance number or birth date, especially if you don’t know the person making the request.
  • You might get a call from someone claiming that you have a virus on your computer, or that you owe taxes or there’s been fraudulent activity in your bank accounts. Know that legitimate financial organizations will very rarely call you directly. Don’t take a chance. Hang up and call the organization yourself using the number from a trustworthy source, such as the phone book, their website, or even invoices and account statements.

Find more information at www.competitionbureau.gc.ca/fraud.

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