There are an infinite variety of confidence tricks or con games and no two are played in exactly the same manner. Everyone should be aware of these schemes but seniors can be particularly vulnerable and are often targeted specifically.
Phoney Bank Inspector
A con artist will pose as a bank inspector and request your help in exposing a dishonest bank teller. The con will ask you to withdraw money from your account in order to check the serial numbers.
The phoney inspector will swear you to secrecy, making you feel as though you are part of the investigation. The victims than hand over their money, regretfully never to see it again.
Remember: No bank would ask you to withdraw money for this purpose. If you are asked to do this, please contact your local police as soon as possible.
The Pigeon Drop
This type of con game is probably more frequent than reports indicate due to the reluctance of many victims to admit their foolishness. Swindlers will approach the victim and claim they have found a large sum of money. They offer to share it with you, but require you to put up some of your money to show your good faith. You are given a phoney address to pick up your money and sadly never see the money or the swindler again.
The Home Repair Rip-Off
This is one of the most common schemes often perpetrated on elderly homeowners. It is a phoney door-to-door renovating company. The salesperson claims to "just happen" to be in your neighbourhood and offer a good deal on home repairs.
Don't feel pressured by these people. They may say that “the special deal is only good for today” or that “they feel the job is urgent and if not attended immediately will lead to more expensive repairs”
Ask questions and only do business when:
1. you are satisfied that you are dealing with a reputable company
2. you are convinced that you actually need the work done.
You may want to ask the person to leave their card and you will contact them if you decided you require their services. Then get a second opinion from a reputable company.
To find out about more current scams or to check out the record of any business contact the Better Business Bureau of Vancouver Island.
Also see Current Scams.