Seniors and Financial Fraud
Generally, financial fraud means using dishonesty to trick someone into losing money. It can involve lies, trickery and other dishonest practices.
Financial fraud can take many different forms. Here are some examples:
- identity theft: Stealing personal information (date of birth, social security number, bank account number, etc.) and using the information to buy goods and services.
- credit card fraud
- “ponzi” schemes: An investment scheme in which money is paid by investors.
- fake lotteries: For example, a fake contest.
- share purchase schemes: The fraudulent artist tells the story of the victim. The fraud artist gives the victim a chance to buy these shares.
- bogus charities: Requests for donations to charities that do not exist.
- “nigerian Letter” schemes: Requests to use a bank account to get money out of a foreign country.
How do people carry out financial fraud?
People who commit fraud victim in many different ways. They could use regular mail, faxes, emails, the telephone or newspaper advertisements. Sometimes, they go door to door. They might even infiltrate a person’s social circle and try to become a friend. In fact, many victims of fraud are introduced to a fraud artist by someone they know.
What if people try to sell me by phone or fax?
Sells certain types of things, such as pre-arranged funeral services. (Funeral companies are not allowed to call potential customers.)
But if you speak to the caller in person over the phone, there are rules the caller must follow. First, at the beginning of the call, the caller must tell you:
- the name of the business or person
- the purpose of the call
- what product or service she is promoting
At some point in the call, the caller must also tell you:
- the price of any product
- any restrictions or conditions that must be met before the product is delivered
Also, there is a general rule that a business is promoting a product or service that is misplaced or misplaced.
What if I am thinking of buying something over the phone or Internet or by mail?
The law requires the seller to provide you with the following information before you buy anything:
- her name and contact information (phone number and if there is one, a fax number and email address)
- a detailed description of the product or service
- the total price, including taxes and any extra charges
- the currency you must pay in (Canadian dollars, US dollars, etc.)
- the delivery date or the delivery of the product
- the way the product will be shipped and name of the transport company
- the seller ‘s policies on exchanges and returns
This information must be presented in a way that is easy to understand and easy to find.
Unless you are paying by credit card, the seller or the service.
Note that there are special rules for certain types of goods and services, such as pre-arranged funeral services, insurance, loans of money, newspaper and magazine subscriptions and travel agents.
To learn more about your rights, see the website of Quebec’s Office of Consumer Protection or call the office at the number in your area. Check your phone book for the number.
What should I know about people selling things door-to-door?
Sellers who show up on your doorstep must follow certain rules, unless they are selling goods worth $ 100 or less. So students selling $ 10 chocolate bars for their school!
Door-to-door sellers must have a permit from the Office of Consumer Protection (Consumer Protection Bureau). While the seller is here, she does not know the number of the permit. You can call the Office to check that this is valid.
If you buy something, the seller must give you a written contract containing certain information, including the seller’s contact information, the total price you must pay and the terms of payment.
The law also gives you the right to cancel your purchase. In some cases, you have up to 1 year to cancel.
You should know that there are special rules for certain types of contracts, such as insurance contracts, contracts with travel agents and contracts for pre-arranged funeral services.
What should I know about people trying to sell me investments?
In Quebec, an investment fund must be registered with the Autorité des marchés financiers, a government agency. To make sure the firm is registered, search the agency’s online registry or call 1-877-525-0337.
Also, anyone calling herself a “financial planner” must have a special diploma from the Quebec Institute of Financial Planning, plus a special certificate. The certificate of the Autorité des marchés financiers or from an association of professionals – accountants, for example – that has an agreement with the. To find out if a financial planner is legitimate, check the directory of the Institute or call the Institute at 514-767-4040 or 1-800-640-4050. The Institute’s website also has a list of suggested questions for you.
Where can I get more information on financial fraud?
Investing and Financial Advisors:
- The Autorité des marchés financiers (Quebec) – 514 395-0337 or 1-877-525-0337.
- Canadian Securities Administrators
- Quebec Provincial Police – 514-598-4141 (Website information for seniors is in French only.
- Canadian Anti-Fraud Center – 1-888-495-8501
- Many banks and other financial institutions have pamphlets and websites about fraud. The Canadian Bankers Association also has a section on this topic.
- Government of Quebec: Protect Your Identity Online.
- Sûreté du Québec, RCMP and other partners: “Internet 101”.
- Office of Consumer Protection (Consumer Protection Bureau). For the phone number, see your phone book.
- Canadian Consumer Information Gateway
Where can I turn if I have been a victim of financial fraud?
You can contact your local police, the provincial Sûreté du Québec police (514-598-4141? Collect calls accepted) or the Canadian Anti-Fraud Center of the RCMP (1-888-495-8501).
If your case falls under the responsibility of a police department other than the one you called, your case will be referred to the proper department.
For situations involving investments or financial advisors, you can contact the Autorité des marchés financiers. (514-873-3090 or 1-877-525-0337)
For cases dealing with a product or service, you can contact the Office of Consumer Protection (consumer protection office). Check your phone book for the number in your area.
If your personal information has been stolen, contact the police. You may also contact any institutions that have issued the documents (driver’s license, social insurance number, medicare card, passport, etc.) to ask them what steps you should take. It is also a good idea to explain your situation to Canada.
You may be interested in knowing that the punishments for defrauding a senior can be more than a victim. The judge deciding on a sentence is taken into account that the victim was a senior.