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Personal and Home Safety

Seniors Safety

RCMP Horse and Rider

If you are contacted by a telephone solicitor and you are not interested in the product or offer, simply decline and hang up. They may not quit until you hang up.

Never give out personal information over the telephone. Do not allow yourself to be drawn into conversations with strange callers, survey takers or telephone solicitors where you are asked to reveal your name, address, marital status or other personal information.

Preventive Tips

  • Have regular payments such as pension cheques deposited directly to your account.
  • Store stocks, bonds, jewellery and other valuables in a safety deposit box. 
  • Do not carry large amounts of cash.
  • Always sign a new credit card when you receive it. Always destroy old credit cards. Never give anyone with your credit card number unless you initiate the transaction.

Consumer Fraud
Preventive Tips

  1. Shop around - always get several estimates on major purchases or service contracts.
  2. Check all companies out with the Better Business Bureau.
  3. Never sign a contract before you read and understand it. Do not sign a blank contract that a salesperson says will be filled in at a later date.
  4. Always keep records of bills, contacts, and warranties.
  5. Do not rush into anything involving your money or property.
  6. Be wary of "get-rich-quick" schemes.
  7. Be wary of door-to-door salespeople. Do not allow yourself to be rushed into buying something you don't really need or want. Read the contract; ask the salesperson to explain all the costs involved.  
  8. Avoid miracle cures. There are no miracle cures for cancer, arthritis or any other disease. 
  9. Be suspicious of retirement estate advertisements.  

Charities Verification
With all the charities pursuing the public's dollar, it is at times difficult to know which organizations to donate to or if they are even legitimate.

Preventive Tips

  1. Ask for the organization's charitable registration number. All registered charities have one.
  2. Find out how much of the money actually goes to the charity.
  3. Ask for their address. Phone the Better Business Bureau to determine their legitimacy.

Beware of contractors:

  1. Who knock on the door to tell you they just happened to be doing some work in the area and can give you a "special price".
  2. Who promise a discount if you allow them to use your home "to advertise our work". The same offer will have been made to everyone.
  3. Who quote a price without seeing the job.
  4. Who demand a large down payment "to buy materials". All reputable contractors maintain charge accounts with their suppliers.
  5. Who refuse to give you a written contract specifying exactly what they say they will do.
  6. Who's only address is a post office box or a telephone number.

Excerpts from "How to Hire a Contractor."
Available from Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation.