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Your Credit Union Can Help Senior Citizens Avoid Scams

September 12, 2018

By Brandon Allison

With the holiday season just around the corner, it has become increasingly important for credit unions to be vigilant and ensure that proper measures are in place to mitigate possible fraud. As members begin their holiday shopping they increasingly become susceptible to fraud schemes that may compromise their card and/or identity. It is the responsibility of each individual credit union branch to ensure that adequate safeguards are in place to both inform and protect members from possible fraud schemes.

It is important to note that senior citizens as a demographic are especially susceptible to fraud schemes. The Competition Bureau Canada has recently released its 2nd edition of the “The Little Black Book of Scams.” This pamphlet outlines the most popular scams and fraud schemes currently in practice as well as ways to spot them and methods of safeguarding yourself from being victimized by them.

A pdf copy of this book to be shared with all credit union staff can be found here. The Competition Bureau has also made copies of these books to individuals and businesses free. Each credit union branch can request up to 3 boxes (75 copies per box) of these booklets which can be distributed to credit union members. Credit unions can order hard copies free of charge here.

It is advised that credit union employees ensure they distribute these books to vulnerable groups as well as in instances where they suspect a credit union member may be the victim of fraud. For example, situations where elderly members enter branch to withdraw large sums of money. Following best practices and asking the right questions does not always work to prevent fraud. In these instances, it is advisable that the credit union employee also provide the member with the “Little Black Book of Scams.”

As mentioned above, each credit union can order up to 3 boxes of hard copies of this book free of charge . Providing these kinds of resources to members not only helps to mitigate the risks associated with fraud, it also promotes member trust in the credit union system.