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Email and internet scams are still with us and scammers are trying new techniques. Watch for messages coming from domain names that are similar to legitimate ones - for example, domain names and email addresses ending in .ca or .net instead of .com.

Email scams requesting money or gift cards are one of the most common forms of elder abuse - and financial abuse in general. They are also a public health and human rights issue.

Financial abuse is one of the most prevalent forms of abuse. It is financial abuse if somebody tricks, threatens, or persuades older adults out of their money, property, or possessions. It is not only older adults who are vulnerable to the many forms of scamming that are prevalent in our society. Unfortunately, times of crisis often give rise to telephone, email and online scams.

Some people are getting fake messages purportedly coming from First Met staff asking for financial support. Please do not respond to these. We do not solicit financial support for any causes in this manner. 

The Chartered Professional Accountants (CPAs) of Canada recommends the following to avoid being a victim of a scammer:

1) Strengthen your passwords.

2) Review your credit card and banking transactions at least once a month for illegitimate activities.

3) Shred personal documents before disposing of them.

4) Know your approximate credit score (credit rating).

5) Screen your calls: Don’t answer a call or a text message if you don't recognize the number.

With emails, look for mis-spelled words and incorrect titles and names and a new trick - messages coming from purported domain names which look similar to an organization's actual domain, for example .ca or .net instead of .com.

We also recommend being particularly wary if the email or phone call threatens arrest if you do not pay immediately, especially if you are asked to purchase gift cards. This form of scamming is so prevalent, that many stores have now installed warning signs on their gift card displays.