|The Case of the Smooth-Talking Swindler|
Fraud Prevention Month Case #1: Eighty-four year old Dorothy thought that Steven looked like such a nice young man. Very polite. Smartly dressed. Working his way through college. Standing there on her front doorstep, Steven explained that his company could offer her a great deal on a brand new vacuum cleaner and all she had to do was allow him to demonstrate the machine and Dorothy would receive a voucher for a free trip to Mexico. How could she say no to a free trip?
Dorothy allowed him into her home and the 30 minute demonstration turned into three hours. He talked so fast and made everything sound so good. She told him she needed to think about it but he said that she had to make a decision right away as it was a time-limited offer. Dorothy ended up buying a brand new vacuum cleaner from him for $3,000 and he took her used vacuum cleaner as a trade-in, knocking $500 off the purchase price. Because her hand shakes quite a bit, he wrote out the cheque for her and Dorothy signed it. The cheque was cashed right away.
WHAT WOULD YOU DO?
In this case, Dorothy contacted both Consumer Protection BC and the police. She learned that Steven had perpetrated the same scam on 25 other seniors. Fraud charges were brought against Steven. Each year, Consumer Protection BC and the police deal with consumers who have been conned by scam artists. Do not allow yourself to be pressured into buying and be sure to comparison shop.
Visit Consumer Protection BC at the 2011 Senior's Expo on March 15th at Pearkes Recreation Centre in Victoria.
Take the Competition Bureau's Fraud Quiz.
Links to all Fraud Prevention Month "Cases":