Detective Harry Lawrenson is now the National Director of the Canadian D.A.R.E program, having educated over 22,000 students over his decades of service.
Harry gave us a great informative talk on scams and frauds ongoing in Canada yet originating in India and other countries. 
We heard about:
  1. Scam calls claiming to come from Service Canada stating that “Your SIN number has been fraudulently used”. The caller then attempts to have the person called give them their SIN number to confirm the number. Clearly we need to hang up when this call comes in.
  2. A call claiming to be from “Visa Canada” stating that they have seen “some unusual activity on your account” should throw you a red flag. The main reason being, we were told, is that it is the bank or credit union that is the issuer of credit cards and so a legitimate call would be coming from your bank, not from the parent network. Clearly, we need to hang up when this call comes in. 
  3. Many other scams are making the rounds, such as “Romance” scams on social media, Readers Digest or other publications telling you “you are a winner but need to pay the taxes,” and “house for rent” scams by a phoney landlord who doesn’t actually own the property.  Just hang up when you get those calls.
Harry left us with this key message, DO NOT GIVE ANY PERSONAL INFORMATION OVER THE PHONE, and HANG UP when you get a suspicious call.  
He also reinforced that the “Days of a handshake closing a deal are gone,” and strongly advised to get a written agreement in all your business dealings. 
Scamming seniors is a common occurrence.  Having a Power of Attorney in the hands of an adult child set up is a great way to reduce the possibility of a senior family member being defrauded. 
On a successful note, Harry related a story of the RCMP travelling to Mumbai India, finding a three-storey building filled with close to 400 people in cubicles making scam calls to North America.  The good news? Two hundred arrests were made.
What can you do if you’re approached by a scammer? Report the calls to the police and help our finest do their jobs.  After all, they are here for us. 

To download a PDF copy of Bill Edward's notes on Harry Lawrenson's talk visit this link