Fraud Prevention Month: The top scams in Canada

According to new reports, Canadians lost $95 million last year due to being victims of fraud and scams. Further to that, only five per cent of victims reportedly come forward to report the crime which makes things a bit harder to track down and fix.

Here are some common scams to be aware of:

  • Cryptocurrency scams: these are really becoming popular with the increase in interest from the public in cryptocurrency. There is an elevated risk of fraud now, and some offerings may not comply with securities laws. Like any investment, always do your research and consult with professionals.
  • Bad contractors: still an issue we have seen for years and years, contractors taking your deposit and disappearing. Don’t respond to unsolicited offers for work, get several estimates and check the status of companies online or on Better Business Bureau (BBB).
  • Canada Revenue Agency: this has been a big one this year, scammers are calling Canadians posing as CRA, saying they have outstanding taxes due that need to be paid immediately. These scammers ask for credit card numbers over the phone and threaten jail time or steep fines. CRA has already come out and stated that this is not how they do business and you’d never be contacted this way for such a thing, so never hand out your financial information if you get a call like this.
  • Fraudulent invoices: if you receive an invoice from Amazon, UPS, Canada Post or iTunes, always compare the details with what you actually purchased. You can always contact the company directly if you think there is something to be worried about.
  • Copycat website: these are emails or social media posts that look legitimate but ask you for personal information, like credit card numbers. These may look like deals or could be companies for which you have accounts setup already, for example PayPal has long been victim to this scam which mimics their website asking members for updated financial information. If you are being asked for personal or banking information online, don’t give anything without calling and verifying with the company, and don’t trust links you receive in emails if they’re asking you for information.

If you have been victim of a scam, you can now report it through a brand new tool via BBB online, also where you can learn about other scams.

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