Broken Trust: Financial Abuse of Older Adults

With the rising number of reports of older adults experiencing scams and crimes in recent months, this episode explores the issue of financial abuse of older adults – whether through scams, identity theft, or fraud.  

 Hosts Drs. Allison Sekuler and Rosanne Aleong chat with guests Bénédicte Schoepflin (Canadian Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse), Kelly Heisz (SeniorsNL), and Jeff Horncastle (Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre) about common scams, how to identify and detect them, what to do when facing one, and strategies to protect oneself from these crimes. 

Key Highlights 

Dr. Allison Sekuler: “I think what stood out for me was how prevalent this issue is and how creative people are getting in new approaches to scamming folks, which is adding to that prevalence…it can happen to anybody…and we need to start talking about it more.”  

Dr. Rosanne Aleong: “Take five [minutes]…take the moment to stop and take five, reflect, don’t let anybody push you where you don’t need to be… or do something that you’re not prepared to do.” 

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Learn more about our guests 

Bénédicte Schoepflin has worked at the Canadian Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse since 2015 and became its Executive Director in 2018. Bénédicte previously worked for the BC Law Institute and its division, the Canadian Centre for Elder Law, as Communications Director. Originally from Avignon, France, Bénédicte now lives and works on the unceded and ancestral territory of the Coast Salish Peoples, including the territories of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh Nations (Vancouver). 

Kelly Heisz is the Executive Director of SeniorsNL and has been since 2008. She is a graduate of Memorial University with a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Education. Her experience in strategy, evaluation, partnership development and relations have been key assets for community engagement and community of practice to improve the quality of life and well-being for all citizens. Her work at SeniorsNL has her engaged in areas that impact the lives of older adults and those that support them. Specifically, addressing elder abuse as a severe societal issue has been a steadfast objective for SeniorsNL through its NL Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse. In her role, being involved with the Canadian Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse provides her with expertise from across the country to strengthen her resolve to improve the lives of older adults in her province. 

Jeff Horncastle has been working in the Fraud Prevention and Intake Unit (FPIU) at the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre (CAFC) for 6 years and has been acting in the Client and Communications Outreach Officer position for 2 years where he coordinates fraud prevention initiatives and messaging. 

 The Canadian Anti-fraud Centre (CAFC) is Canada’s central repository for information about fraud. They help citizens and businesses: 

  • report fraud 
  • learn about different types of fraud 
  • recognize the warning signs of fraud 
  • protect themselves from fraud 

 They also provide information to law enforcement and governments in Canada and around the world. Their goals include: 

  • disrupting crime 
  • strengthening the partnership between the private and public sectors 
  • maintaining Canada’s economy 

 The CAFC is jointly managed by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the Competition Bureau Canada, and the Ontario Provincial Police. 

About the Podcast 

CABHI’s Community of Innovation podcast is where topics on ingenuity, aging and brain health collide. Join us as we talk to experts in healthcare, research, technology, and business, as well as older adults and their caregivers, about the innovative practices and healthtech solutions helping us all lead longer, healthier lives. 

Hosted by Dr. Allison Sekuler (President and Chief Scientist at CABHI) and Dr. Rosanne Aleong (Director of Research, Innovation, and Translation at CABHI). 

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