March is Fraud Prevention Month and sadly seniors are quite often the targets of scams…even by their own family.
Which is what happened in Thunder Bay after city police announced charges against a man who is alleged to have siphoning funds intended for his own mother’s daily needs and care facility payments.
The investigation began in September after police were contacted by concerned citizens, and with assistance from witnesses and businesses it was determined more than 700 fraudulent transactions were made between January of 2016 and December 2022 totaling $80,000.
The 47 year old has been charged with:
- Theft Over $5,000
- Fraud Over $5,000
- Theft By Power of Attorney
The accused will appear in court on May 19th.
Officials with the Thunder Bay Police Service want to emphasize this incident should not discourage people from having a Power of Attorney, as the fact the accused was the Power of Attorney, it gave police more authority to pursue charges.
Here is a list of tips you can use to keep yourself safe:
• Naming two people that you trust, who can act jointly as your Attorneys,
• Never have joint bank accounts or other investments with your Power of Attorney.
• Having monthly expenses come out automatically.
• If you suspect fraud on your account, call your financial institution and ask about any questionable activity.
• Having regular conversations with your Attorney about your financial affairs, and
• Remember one can always consult a Lawyer for advice.
More information on Elder Abuse, Power of Attorneys and what your rights are can be found here:
Or you can contact the Senior Safety Line at 1-866-299-1011 where you can speak with a trained counsellor.
Police ask that you take the time time to speak with your more vulnerable family members and friends who may be at a greater risk of being targeted by scammers.