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March 21, 2016

Winnipeg Police Service Media Release
For Immediate Release

Fraud Prevention Month - Seniors

The Winnipeg Police Service recognizes that some of our most vulnerable citizens at risk of becoming victims of fraud are seniors. Because of this, the Winnipeg Police Service is dedicating this week of Fraud Prevention Month to raising awareness for frauds routinely being perpetrated against seniors.

The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre has released the statistics for the top 10 schemes (based on dollar loss) reported by Canadian seniors in 2015:

Complaint Type Complaints Victims Dollar Loss
Romance 313 213 $7,176,843.41
Prize 2,168 427 $5,892,353.93
Investments 79 66 $3,532,029.27
Emergency 742 312 $2,231,307.03
Service 2,740 1,090 $1,795,240.65
Extortion 7,425 309 $1,087,411.51
Inheritance 631 27 $934,937.35
Timeshare 46 36 $830,822.11
Nigeria (Scam Letters) 98 7 $668,761.78
Other 304 49 $557,323.40

One of the common scams is the “Grandparent Emergency” scam. In this scam a person calls a senior and while acting very panicked asks “Grandma” or “Grandpa” for money to help with a problem. “The problem” is often legal, where a fine and lawyer fees need to be paid. The senior then sends money by a money transfer service. The money is then picked up by the fraudster and cannot be recovered. The best way to prevent this is open communication. Call your family and ask if your relative is in trouble.

As a senior, there are many ways that you can protect yourself from frauds and scams. Remember that if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Here are some other helpful tips to consider:

  • Don’t be afraid to say NO.
  • Take time to collect more information before making a decision.
  • Ask advice from someone you trust.
  • Make sure all your questions are answered.
  • Don’t feel pressured into committing before you have a chance to think things over or collect additional information.
  • Don’t give out any personal information to anyone you do not know or trust.
  • Ignore and delete suspicious emails asking for money transfers or personal information.

For more information on the programs and services available to older adults, please call the Seniors Information Line at 204-945-6565 or toll free 1-800-665-6565. For more information about frauds go to

Don’t forget about our main event this Fraud Prevention Month, a FREE shredding event at St. Vital Centre on March 24th, 2016 from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Look for the Shred-It van in the parking lot. There is a maximum of two bags or boxes per person.

Constable Rob Carver, Public Information Officer
Constable Jay Murray, Public Information Officer
Constable Tammy Skrabek, Public Information Officer

Kelly Dehn, Manager of Public Affairs

Office: 204-986-3061

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