Scam attempts becoming pervasive

By Susan Yellin | November 06 2019 09:54AM

Photo: Freepik

Cyber breaches and fraud attempts are becoming so pervasive that they have become everyday occurrences for both vulnerable seniors and gatekeepers like lawyers and financial advisors, a conference of the Independent Financial Brokers (IFB) of Canada has been told.

“In law, [scams] are endless,” Arthur Fish, a partner in the tax group of Borden Ladner Gervais said Tuesday. “We are barraged with people trying to get through our defences every single day.”

Targeting seniors

Fish said more people are telling him about incidents involving relatives or clients who have fallen prey to any one of a number of scams, including phishing, threatening bogus calls from Canada Revenue Agency, “grannie scams” and calls from “agencies” specifically looking for names of seniors in the home.

But financial advisors need to be careful not to provide legal advice regarding powers of attorney or trustees, said Fish.

However, he advised IFB members to listen to vulnerable clients and get in touch with their “trusted  contact person” to determine if any information has been passed on to scammers.

Signs of financial abuse

Fish said clients who have been defrauded may come right out and tell their advisor they have been scammed or they could show signs of financial abuse such as being unable to pay bills, going without necessities or making unexplained withdrawals.

Professionals should not scoff at vulnerable seniors who have fallen victim to scams, noting cases of lawyers and advisors who have also been victimized, said Fish.

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