Frauds, Scams and Thefts

Recognize It! Report It! Stop It!

Credit Card and Debit Theft

  • Protect your bank and credit card PIN numbers. 
  • Never give personal information over the Internet.  If you shop online verify that the sites have good security measures in place and double check your statements to ensure that you have been charged correctly.
  • Immediately advise your bank if you suspect fraud
  • Change your Debit/Credit Card PIN numbers often.
  • When picking a PIN number pick something that only you would know.  Do not pick phone numbers, dates of birth, anniversary dates etc.  These are easier for people to figure out.

Identity Theft

  • Never give your personal information over the phone to someone you do not know.
  • If a caller is requesting your personal information (including your full name, date of birth, address, phone number, SIN etc), hang up the phone.  It is not rude, you are protecting yourself.
  • Never provide personal information over the internet.
  • Properly shred anything with personal information on it (ie Credit Card statements, government documents etc).

Frauds / Scams / Thefts

  • Be an educated consumer.  Fraud is the number one crime against seniors.
  • If it is too good to be true, it probably is.
  • Seniors are typically targeted by con artists because they often live alone, have more savings, assets or disposable income, are generally more trusting and believe people, many are embarrassed after losing money in a scam/fraud and do not report it, sometimes the con artist is a relative and it is hard to believe that this person would steal from you.
  • Con artists will often try to get money from you again if you have been a victim once.


  • Telemarketing is used to describe the sale of goods/services or canvassing for businesses or charities over the telephone.  There are legitimate businesses but also fraudsters will try to use this method to get money from you.  DO NOT GIVE OUT YOUR PERSONAL INFORMATION.  If you do not want to receive these types of calls, register with the DO NOT CALL LIST at 1-866-580-DNCL (3625) or

The Grandparent / Relative Scam

  • The Grandparent / Relative scam is a common fraud.  Someone will call you and pretend to be our grandchild, relative or a lawyer calling on behalf of your grandchild/relative.  They will ask for money because your grandchild/relative is in trouble. DO NOT SEND MONEY by any method without checking first with family.

Direct Marketing

  • Usually this occurs when someone comes to your front door and offers renovation services or to sell you something
  • Do not feel pressured and NEVER let a stranger into your home.
  • If they say it is a one time deal, be wary.
  • Don’t sign any contract without talking to a person you trust.
  • NEVER give cash deposits or pay for work until it is done and get itemized estimated/quotes from other companies before settling on one.
  • If you ask for the person to leave and they refuse, CALL POLICE.
  • Check out this link

Mail or Internet Fraud

  • If the prize notice asks for money or credit card information, IT IS NOT LEGITIMATE. Contest or lottery winners do not pay to win.
  • Unsolicited e-mails should not be opened. Banks, insurance companies, will not ask you by phone or e-mail for your personal information.  If unsure call your back or financial institution immediately.

BE ALERT –    Ask questions

                         Listen carefully

                         Educate yourself

                         Refuse to be pressured

                         Tell Police

Important Numbers:

Anyone who tries to sell you an investment or give you investment advice must be REGISTERED, unless they have an exemption.  You can contact:

Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) R 1-877-785-1555 or go to, to find out if a person or firm is registered.

You should contact the following if you suspect someone has acquired your personal information and may be using your identity for fraudulent purposes:

Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre


  • They help individuals manage their personal credit information, protect their identity and maximize their financial well-being.  Can do monthly checks for you to see if your information is being used.
  • Phone: 1-800-465-7166
  • Online:


  • Help consumers gain a clear understanding of their credit history, the impact of their financial behaviour and helps guard against identity theft and financial fraud.  Can do monthly checks for you to see if your information is being used.
  • By phone: 1-877-525-3823 (Between hours of 8:00 am and 8:00 pm ET)
  • Online:
  • By mail:  Transunion
  •              Attention: Fraud Victim Assistance Department 
                 P.O Box 338, LCD1 
                 Hamilton, ON L8L 7W2








English French German Italian Portuguese Russian Spanish