One of the unfortunate realities of life for people working hard to earn an honest dollar is that there are always people out there trying to make a quick buck by scamming others. Click on a menu option on the left to learn about the most common kinds of fraud within Canada, or read more below.
The Government of Canada’s Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre recently issued a bulletin on four of the more common scams out there right now.
Here’s what to watch for:
- Buying and selling things online
The internet has made selling things much simpler and more convenient than ever before, but it’s also made scamming innocent people much easier. Far too often, victims are tricked into paying for items they’ll never receive or being asked to refund money the “buyer” mistakenly overpaid.
Advice: Do your due diligence before buying or selling anything online. Remember that if something seems too good to be true, it probably is. Also, if someone agrees to pay you more than the asking price for a product, odds are it’s part of a scam.
- Romance scams
Sadly, many fraud artists like to prey on the lonely, establishing phony online relationships that often lead to requests for money.
Advice: Be wary of anyone who professes their love for you online, particularly if the relationship develops quickly. Also, never send them money for any reason.
- Counterfeit products
The internet is flooded with counterfeit merchandise being sold as if it were a brand-name product. Counterfeiters have become very good at building legitimate looking websites to sell cheap knock-offs.
Advice: Keep an eye out for red flags, particularly if the price seems too good to be true. Other red flags include spelling and grammatical mistakes and email addresses that use web-based services like Gmail, Hotmail or Yahoo.
- Charitable donations
Like fake goods, there are many fake charities on the internet, often with names very similar to those of legitimate charities.
Advice: Never give out your personal or financial information over the phone or at the door. Also, be wary of unsolicited phone calls or high-pressure tactics. When in doubt, visit the Canada Revenue Agency’s list of registered charities to confirm whether the charity in question is legitimate.
- Below we provide a series of videos that will teach you how to protect yourself from fraudsters.
Phishing and smishing: Learn what phishing and smishing are, and how to protect yourself from email or text message scammers.
Good software helps stop bad guys: PC hygiene is how we keep our computers clean of malware that can damage files or compromise information. Here’s some ideas on how to protect yourself.
The four cornerstones of internet security: The internet is fraught with danger. Here’s an overview on how to stay safe.