Elderly Crime

What Was Your Name Again?

The economic downturn isn't putting everyone out of work. A report by the Toronto Police says the city has recently seen an increase in fraud committed against the elderly, particularly those of Polish and Italian descent.

The fraud goes something like this. The suspect calls the victim, speaking in either Polish or Italian. He (or she) poses as a relative visiting the city and then asks to borrow money, in cash--typically to purchase a vehicle. The suspect then sends an accomplice over to pick up the booty.

For those readers with grandparents of Polish or Italian descent living in the city, you might want to give them a heads up. As for the rest of you, stay away from the Nigerian prince who somehow got hold of millions and now wants to make a deposit in your bank account.

The elderly aren't alone in being the target of fraud. So, too, can those of you working in HR. To combat the rise of counterfeit degrees, the University of Toronto has recently started printing holograms on diplomas. And the University is also allowing employers to check the authenticity of a degree online. All the employer needs is the student's name and either a date of birth, social insurance number or student number, and the potential fraudster fails out of a job opportunity.

A certain Toronto-based telecommunications company filed for bankruptcy protection yesterday, capping off one of the most dramatic corporate collapses in the country's history. Even so, they're still looking for a software engineer. I wonder what kind of stock options they're offering...

Photo by Arieh Singer


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