From a Peterborough Lakefield Community Police Service Media Release today...
Fraud/Criminal Harassment Arrest:
On the 11th of October, a Peterborough man was arrested for an alleged fraud scheme involving several elderly victims. Investigation revealed that between June of 2008 and July 2011, a male targeted several seniors and obtained over $40,000.00 from them. He approached the victims, all Peterborough residents, at their homes and offered to do odd jobs. He befriended them and worked to gain their trust, visiting them often. He was deceitful and told them he needed money for medical treatments, to travel and visit elderly sick family members, for school books and to help out his disabled daughter. He was able to convince the victims, three females ages 93, 79, and 91 and a 91 year old male, to give him cash and cheques. As a result of the investigation, John Melville White age 34 of Milroy Drive has been charged with two counts of fraud over $5,000.00, two counts of fraud under $5,000.00 and four counts of criminal harassment. He was released from custody and will appear in court on the 3rd of November. Police are asking any other victims that may have been a target of this fraudulent scam to contact the Peterborough Lakefield Community Police Service at 705-876-1122.
Financial fraud is the fastest growing form of elder abuse. Broadly defined, financial elder abuse is when someone illegally or improperly uses a vulnerable senior's money or other property. This type of crime often goes unreported as elderly victims are often too confused, fearful, or embarrassed. Protect yourself or loved ones from financial elder abuse by watching for the following warning signs:
• An individual who suddenly forms a close relationship with the older person, getting easy access to his or her home, money, and other property.
• Unusual or large withdrawals or transfers from bank accounts, or large credit card charges that the older person can't explain.
• Changes in account beneficiaries or authorized signers.
• A dramatic change in mood or disposition, or other evidence of substandard care.
• Sudden social isolation.