FEPS provides high touch support to seniors

26 November 2018
Author: Julie McFayden
The Financial Empowerment and Problem Solving (FEPS) program provides free, confidential, one-on-one support to individuals living on low incomes to help them build their financial health. Created by West Neighbourhood House, a Toronto neighbourhood services organization, the program provides hands-on help with a variety of financial needs such as tax filing, accessing bank services and managing debt.

Jane/Finch Centre (JFC) is one of four FEPS program delivery partners providing one-on-one support to the people in their community. They recently shared Delores’ experience as a victim of fraud and the ways they were able to advocate on her behalf.


Delores’ story

Delores* went to the Jane/Finch Centre to sort out an upsetting situation. She had received a call indicating she had a balance owing to Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) and was told that she needed to pay the amount in iTunes cards or the police would arrest her. She followed the instructions, purchased $1,000 in iTunes cards, called the purported CRA officer and provided the numbers to the cards. Delores went to JFC the following day when the individual called back and told her she needed to pay an additional $1,000. Delores did not understand what was happening.

As she explained the situation the FEPS worker knew immediately that she was a victim of fraud. First, the worker confirmed that Delores had not provided any further personal information. Then, the FEPS worker called CRA to ensure there was no outstanding debt, and the Fraud Centre at the CRA so Delores could provide them with the number from which she had received the call. The FEPS worker called iTunes to see if the cards had been activated and used; they had. Also the FEPS worker instructed Delores to file a police report, which she did. Finally, to give Delores some peace of mind, the worker called the Old Age Security (OAS) and Canada Pension Plan (CPP) offices to ensure all her documents were in order.

Although the chances are slim that Delores will be able to get her money back, she left grateful that JFC had armed her with information making her aware of fraudulent actions and how to respond. She was angry that people commit dishonest acts against seniors, and is now committed to sharing her story with as many people as possible so they will not land in a similar situation.

Jane/Finch Centre

Jane/Finch Centre is a community based organization driven by passion, innovation, and a strong commitment to social justice, community engagement and collaboration. Jane/Finch Centre is a Financial Empowerment and Problem Solving (FEPS) program partner. The FEPS program is currently delivered by West Neighbourhood House (West NH)Agincourt Community Services Association (ACSA), Jane/Finch Centre (JFC), The Working Centre (TWC) in partnership with Prosper Canada. To learn more about Jane/Finch Centre, please visit: www.janefinchcentre.org.




THE AUTHOR

Julie McFayden is the Senior Manager, Marketing and Communications at Prosper Canada. She oversees the development and implementation of all marketing and communications activities for the organization.

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