Identity theft is becoming more common in Canada because of recent technological advances.
It occurs when criminals steal the identity of a person, which then gives the means to commit
other crimes under the name of that same person.

Who's stealing from my grandma?

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You've won the lottery! You know, the one you didn't enter and never heard of before. But first, you must send some of your own money to pay for insurance and delivery of the prize money.

Fact //

Elder Abuse refers to the violence, mistreatment or neglect that older adults living in either private residences or institutions may experience at the hands of their spouses, children, other family members, caregivers, service providers or other individuals in situations of power or trust. Elder Abuse can manifest itself in a number of ways, most popularly, in recent years, on the internet...

source: Statistics Canada

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What if it was your grandma?

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A few statistics

In 2009, the General Social Survey (GSS) on Victimization asked Canadians about their use of the Internet and problems or security issues they may have encountered when online. Overall, close to two-thirds of older Canadians (64%) said that they experienced some form of security problem when using the Internet; however, they were less likely than their younger counterparts (64% versus 77%) to report an issue. The most common security problems encountered by older Canadians while using the Internet included receiving viruses, spyware or adware (53%), phishing attempts (38%), and having someone hack into their e-mail account or computer files (6%).

In 2010, the Canadian Anti-fraud Centre received close to 50,000 complaints of mass marketing fraud, the majority of which were initiated by telephone. Older Canadians were seen to be at increased risk for experiencing mass marketing fraud for a number of different reasons, some of which include: having substantial savings or assets, having a greater sense of trust, and having limited contact with friends or family (Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre 2010).

source: Statistics Canada

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Dear Madam,

RE: confidential business proposal

Having consulted with my colleagues and based on the information gathered from the Nigerian Chambers of Commerce and Industry, I have the privilege to request for your assistance to transfer the sum of $47 million Canadian dollars into your accounts. The above sum resulted from an over-invoiced contract, executed commissioned and paid for about five years ago by a foreign contractor. This action was however intentional and since then the fund has been in a suspense account at the central bank of nigeria apex bank.

We are now ready to transfer the fund overseas and that is where you come in. It is important to inform you that as civil servants, we are forbidden to operate a foreign account; that is why we require your assistance. The total sum will be shared as follows: 70% for us, 25% for you and 5% for local and international expenses incident to the transfer.

The transfer is risk free on both sides. I am an accountant with the nigerian national petroleum corporation (nnpc). If you find this proposal acceptable, we shall require the following documents:

(a) your banker's name, telephone, account and fax numbers.

(b) your private telephone and fax numbers -- for confidentiality and easy communication.

(c) your letter-headed paper stamped and signed.

Alternatively we will furnish you with the text of what to type into your letter-headed paper, along with a breakdown explaining, comprehensively what we require of you. The business will take us thirty (30) working days to accomplish.

Please reply urgently,

Best regards.

"The crime of the 21st century."

60 to 83 years old are the prime targets //

Criminals, banking on an aging population with cash to spare, gather data on potential victims online, exploiting the fact that the older generations aren't as tech savvy as their children.


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This is Peggy's story

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Eighty-five-year-old Peggy Murphy fell victim after receiving a call from someone posing as her grandson, Thomas, last July. "Thomas" phoned from a Montreal jail cell and said he'd been drinking and crashed a rental car. While they spoke, a second person joined the conversation — a man who identified himself as a police officer, name and badge number included — said if Murphy would cover the $4,800-worth of damage to the car, Thomas would be released. The "officer" provided Murphy with the address of a nearby Western Union office and instructed her how to send the money. In a panic, she raced over and immediately sent the funds.


What to do...

If you or a senior you know is a victim of Internet fraud, report it to the police immediately. If possible write down any important information while it's still fresh in your memory. Be wary of "something for nothing" or "get rich quick" schemes. Never turn over large sums of money to anybody, especially a stranger, no matter how promising the deal looks. If in doubt, please please please check with a friend, family member, lawyer, accountant or the police.

source: Ottawa Police

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