Preventing Financial Fraud

While the internet brings a wide range of advantages to everyday life, it also brings its fair share of risks – especially to seniors. The unfortunate fact about online financial scams and fraud is that they’re designed to target the elderly specifically because they’re elderly. Educating our elderly parents (and even ourselves) about online fraud, while challenging, is a necessity to ensure their security in this digital era. Let’s look at some of the most common financial scams.


These tend to look like real emails from someone they know. For example, you might receive an email from your grandson that says something along the lines of “Hi grandma or grandpa, I’m having some financial trouble. Could you send me $1000?”. An elderly person without much understanding of these types of scams might take it at face value and send the money, or worse, sensitive financial information that could bankrupt them.

Virus Alert

These are designed to trick the elderly or non-tech-savvy into thinking their device has been infected, and will stop working unless they pay to have it fixed.

Prize or Lottery

These scams are designed to make someone think they’ve won a prize – even if they never entered one. All one needs to do to claim the prize is pay a processing fee. To someone who just learned they won $10,000,000, paying a $2000 processing fee might seem like nothing – especially if they don’t know it’s fake.


This type of scam is very popular when scammers target the elderly, and doesn’t just happen online. You may have heard of scammers calling elderly people while pretending to be the Canada Revenue Agency. They’ll claim that you owe on your taxes or pension or something else, and if you don’t pay immediately, they’ll send the police to your door to arrest you. The thought of being arrested can be scary – especially if you didn’t commit a crime – so if you weren’t aware it was a scam, you’d just pay to make it go away.

Educating your elderly parents about making sure their devices and software are up to date, making sure they don’t use a weak password, and verifying before trusting a scam will make all the difference in keeping them financially safe online. Check out the infographic below for more information:

Share the Wealth!

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