If you follow the Canadian Border Services Agency on social media, you may have recently noticed a few odd tweets.
This has a few vacation goers in the country concerned, especially those who travel overseas. Director General with the CBSA, Paul Porrior, says that there's only been a limited number of cases such as this in the last year, but any case is still a concern.
"In the last calendar year, we've had two Canadian senior citizens interdicted (preventing from moving in and out of the country) within Canada, but also during that time period, we had eleven other Canadian senior citizens interdicted abroad."
It's a surprising case where many senior citizens are being baited by both telephone and email with promises of things along the lines of free travel, extra money, inheritance, or even romance schemes where the victim will get an offer to travel abroad. They will be offered to meet with the person in question once in that country and will then be given a suitcase to return back to Canada with, and in said luggage will be the concealed narcotics.
"Since 2013, our partners within the United States Customs Board of Protection started seeing trends. We saw them at a much smaller level but over the next couple of years, the number of seniors have been leveraged or exploited by trans-national organized groups had increased."
From there, the CBSA saw the importance to take action and put the word out towards the Canadian public, and for good reason. With the way technology continues to evolve, so do it's users. Senior citizens are one of the fastest growing demographics that use the internet regularly, although some people who adopt the usage are not fully aware of the potential dangers and scams waiting.
"It's very important for our seniors to be well aware but also their family members. If family members just talk about these things, talk about these schemes where it's too good to be true, where expenses are being offered to be paid in large exorbitant sums of money. These scams, they are too good to be true, and they are linked to transnational organized crime groups."
The most important thing you can do to help prevent this kind of thing is to make sure the seniors in your family are educated about such scams, and if you are planning a vacation, make sure you take the proper precautions while booking your flights and accommodations.