Scam prevention proposed

Retired police officer hopes to work with area seniors

Janis Jean, until recently a police officer with Central Saanich Police Service, is starting a program that she hopes will help local seniors fend off scam artists.

The former police community liaison officer has approached the Town of Sidney for support in her application to the B.C. ministry of justice for a community crime prevention grant. Jean stated Monday night at council’s committee of the whole meeting, that she needs the municipality to apply for the grant on her behalf. She’s seeking $8,600 for her proposed Scams over Scones program. It would, she said, offer seniors a comfortable atmosphere in which they can learn how to stave off fraud and scams.

Door-to-door repair scams, the “grandma it’s me” phone call scams and other fraud are some of the things  about which Jean said she hopes to educate seniors. She likened her program to Block Watch — holding meetings over tea and scones and offering information and resources for seniors to help prevent them from becoming victims of scams.

“This is an idea that needs attention,” said Councillor Marilyn Loveless. “There’s senior and financial abuse at issue here and these meetings might reveal more than what (Jean) is talking about.”

Coun. Mervyn Lougher-Goody moved that the town offer their support and make the application on behalf of Jean. As the deadline was this week, council voted to do so immediately and will officially ratify the decision at their next regular meeting on Dec. 17.