Whom do you trust?

HagelBy Dorothy Hagel

The issue of who should be trusted with money is not limited to estates and power of attorney. One has to be very careful when entrusting others with access to bank accounts or personal information.

Honest people tend to think that everyone else is like them, but unfortunately this is not the case. Consequently good, honest and trusting people often fall victims of unscrupulous actors. This issue is not limited to senior population; people of different walks in their life fall for different type of schemes that are designed solely for the purpose of getting their money.

However, when a venerable senior with limited income falls victim to such a scheme, the result is often particularly disturbing.

There are two main types of schemes that people tend to fall for. The first one is the “personal service” scheme. It generally involves someone walking from door to door around neighbourhood offering grass cutting, snow removal, renovation or other types of services. The “contractor” will sign the client up and collect deposits and then disappear with the money. When the client eventually starts calling, the number is no longer in service. Many seniors found themselves in real trouble this year, trapped in their homes after paying for snow removal services that have never appeared. The “personal service” scheme is fairly easily avoided by collection quotes from a number of companies and then conducting due diligence on businesses before hiring them to do the work and making deposits. Contractors and renovators should be registering their business with the City. Checking this registration should be the first step when considering hiring someone to do the work.

The second type of scheme, for which warm-hearted and often lonely people fall is the “personal loan” scheme. These schemes could be particularly hurtful because often involve people who are not total strangers. To get the money, the perpetrator will approach the victim with the plea for money (preferably paid in cash) to cover some type of an emergency and promises to pay the funds back. Sometime multiple requests for multiple payments amounting to thousands of dollars are made to the sympathetic victim. When the time for repayment comes, the perpetrator disappears, refuses to admit that any money has ever been received, claims that the money was given as a gift or that it represented a payment for some personal services rendered. The most elaborate story that our office came across was about an individual, who took money for “legal fees” because he needed to pay his divorce lawyer and then insisted that the money was a gift received for “very personal favours” when there was the time to repay the debt.

Personal loans are generally a very bad idea, especially to strangers that are knocking at the door because it is an “emergency”.

Dorothy Hagel JD, CFP is a Barrister, Solicitor & Notary Public with  HAGEL LAWFIRM. She can be reached at  [email protected]

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Sep 17

Extending Minimum Wage Implementation Will Slash Job Loss Risk by 74%: Economic Analysis Final analysis of Bill 148 reveals $12 billion economic problem that the Ontario Government must resolve

Wednesday, September 27, 2017: Today the Mississauga Board of Trade, in partnership with the Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC) and the Keep Ontario Working (KOW) Coalition, released two major reports that broadly capture the challenges associated with Bill 148 and the concerns of the employer community. The first report is the final economic impact analysis of Bill 148 by the Canadian Centre for Economic Analysis’ (CANCEA), which was peer-reviewed by Professor Morley Gunderson of the University of Toronto. CANCEA’s analysis reveals that if Government were to do nothing other than implement the minimum wage increase over five years instead of in the next 15 months, jobs at risk would decrease by 74 per cent in the first two years. The analysis also indicates that while the proposed changes will see $11 billion in wage stimulus flow into the economy in the next two years, a remaining $12 billion problem exists which will lead to jobs lost, added costs, and general damage to the Ontario economy. “Today’s final report by CANCEA is clear, while the Government is correct to say that there will be a stimulus from Bill 148, it does not cover the $23 billion cost challenge for business in the first two years – a substantial amount that poses great risk to our economy and cannot be resolved through offsets alone,” said Karl Baldauf, Vice President of Policy and Government Relations at the Ontario Chamber of Commerce. “More must be done. The Ontario Government must resolve the economic challenges presented in Bill 148 through a combination of slowing down the implementation period, amending the legislation, and offsets. Business and Government must work together to avoid unintended consequences and protect our most vulnerable.” “This report should be a great concern to Mississauga businesses,” said David Wojcik, President & CEO, Mississauga Board of Trade. “We call on our MPPs to heed this advice and slow down the pace of change through Bill 148.”
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