Information best defence against fraud aimed at seniors
Fraud Prevention Month is a good time to remind seniors and others that Alberta has strict rules governing door-to-door sales and solicitations.
Seniors are sometimes targeted by criminals who prey on unsuspecting Albertans on their doorsteps.
The Fair Trading Act protects all Albertans from aggressive door-to-door salespeople. Before allowing a door-to-door seller into your home or office, ask to see their identification. Once you decide to buy, make sure you get a signed sales contract that includes the company’s contact information and a detailed description of the goods or services, including an itemized price list.
Service Alberta recently investigated a case where an older Albertan responded to an advertisement in a senior’s magazine placed by Wills R Us, a company operated by Michael Nathan Steinberg, who offered to prepare a will and a land title transfer in the senior’s home.
The senior was encouraged to sign documents that essentially transferred all his money and property to a complete stranger. Following Service Alberta’s investigation, the power of attorney was cancelled. Steinberg was prosecuted, found guilty of operating without a direct seller’s licence and fined a total of $800.
Consumers can call Service Alberta’s toll-free Consumer Contact Centre at 1-877-427-4088 to confirm that a business or charity is licensed or they can find this information on our website.
This month marks the 11th anniversary of the innovative Fraud Prevention Month partnership across Canada. Service Alberta works with law enforcement, other levels of government and business groups to help Albertans:
- recognize fraud in its various forms;
- learn how and where to report it; and
- how to stop fraud before a con artist or scammer cheats someone out of their hard-earned money.
Service Alberta has prepared a number of convenient tip sheets. Topics include: