Diverse Abilities

Gina Martin

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Senior Safety for Phones and Internet

A man with grey, thinning hair  is wearing a blue button up shirt and eye glasses. He is looking at his cell phone

Hello, my name is Gina Martin. I own and operate Diverse Abilities Programs and Training on lower Vancouver Island. Through interactions with attendees of my presentations on low vision, blindness, and disability at retirement and senior communities, I have come to realize how trusting our senior population can be of people who contact them by phone or email. They are often unaware of the latest techniques used by criminals to electronically obtain their private information via phone, text messages, and emails. I would like to spread awareness of security services available to people here on Vancouver Island through Telus and Shaw. Security services are meant to help keep people safe from telemarketers, scammers, phishing, and other unwanted calls. (Phishing is a form of fraud in which thieves use fake emails, text messages and/or phone calls to trick users into sharing sensitive information such as credit card or banking information and/or downloading harmful software, or sending money. They use convincing fake identities to perpetrate this fraud.)

Due to a lack of exposure to and experience with the most current electronic gadgets and systems and the ways in which criminals use them, seniors can be an especially vulnerable community. They may also be unaware of services that are available to protect them. We feel it is important to inform our senior community and their families of available safety features, some of which may require an additional fee, and some of which only need to be activated.


Caller Control

This is a free optional service that prompts anyone calling your home phone to enter a code. This eliminates any recorded tele messages, scare/ intimidation calls from CRA, credit card scams, or calls from strangers from getting through. You choose a code and share it only with trusted family and friends.

Eligible TELUS Home Phone customers can opt in to activate Call Control.

Caller Screening

Call Screen intercepts pre-selected numbers and plays a recording that says: "The party you are trying to reach is not accepting calls at this time." Call Screen allows you to add or delete numbers to the call screen list whenever you choose.

Caller Reveal

Easily identify calls marked “Private” and “Unknown” number With Caller Reveal service on your line. Callers with “Private” or “Unknown” numbers will be instructed to identify their number to complete their call.

For more information on these and other security features available to TELUS customers, contact them at 1-866-558-2273, or via their website at


Spam Call Blocking

This prevents inbound calls from 1-855, 1-866, 1-877, 1-888 numbers. 

Anonymous Call Blocking

prevents calls from blocked or private numbers from getting through. 

Select Call Blocking

You can manually block numbers if they are within North America.

These are free services that Shaw offers if you are a Shaw customer.

For more information on these and other security services available through Shaw Telecommunications, contact them at 1 (888) 472-2222 or (250)-475-1059 or via their website at

Ideally, you never reveal your banking or credit information, date of birth, address, or any personal information to anyone via phone or email without verifying their identity through the institution they claim to represent. Anyone who pressures you for this information is very likely someone who shouldn’t have it. Always err on the side of caution. A legitimate representative of your bank or credit card company is not going to pressure you to divulge your private information, and will not discourage you from verifying their identity.

Check with your phone provider to find out the features they offer that helps keep you and your loved ones safe from fraud.

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