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Frauds and Scams

Frauds and Scams

Myth Busters

Busting these common myths will minimize your chances of being scammed.

  • All companies, businesses and organizations are legitimate because they are licensed and monitored by the government: This is not always true. While there are rules about setting up and running a business or a company in Canada, scammers can easily pretend to have approval when they don't. Even businesses that are licensed could still try to scam you by acting dishonestly.
  • All Internet websites are legitimate: This is not always true. Websites are quite easy and cheap to set up. The scammers can easily copy a genuine website and trick you into believing it is legitimate.
  • There are short cuts to wealth that only a few people know: This is not always true. Ask yourself the question: if someone knew a secret to instant wealth, why would they be telling their secret to others?
  • Scams involve large amounts of money: This is not always true. Sometimes scammers target a large number of people and try to get a small amount of money from each person.
  • Scams are always about money: This is not always true. Some scams are aimed at stealing personal information from you.

Golden Rules

Remember these golden rules to help you beat the scammers.

  • Always get independent advice if an offer involves money, personal information, time or commitment.
  • There are no guaranteed get-rich-quick schemes—sometimes the only people who make money are the scammers.
  • Do not agree to offers or deals right away. If you think you have spotted a great opportunity, insist on time to get independent advice before making a decision.
  • Do not hand over money or personal information, or sign anything until you have done your homework and checked the credentials of the company that you are dealing with.
  • Do not rely on glowing testimonials: find solid evidence of a company's success.
  • Log directly on to a website that you are interested in rather than clicking on links provided in an email.
  • Never send money, or give credit card or online account details to anyone you do not know and trust.
  • If you spot a scam or have been scammed, get help. Contact the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre, the Competition Bureau or your local police for assistance.
  • Scammers are imaginative and manipulative. They know how to push your buttons to produce the response they want.

Introduction

Every year, Canadians lose millions of dollars to the activities of scammers who bombard us with online, mail, door-to-door and telephone scams.

We are pleased to bring you the first Canadian edition of The Little Black Book of Scams. We hope this book will increase your awareness of the vast array of scams that target Canadians and share with you some easy steps you can take to protect yourself.

Scammers do Not Discriminate
Scammers target people of all backgrounds, ages and income levels. Fake lotteries, Internet frauds, get-rich-quick schemes and miracle health cures are some of the favoured means of separating the unwary from their money. New varieties of these scams appear all the time.

The Competition Bureau has seen the devastating effects scams can have on people and their families. One of the best ways to combat this kind of fraud is to take measures to prevent yourself from being caught in the first place.

Protect Yourself
If you want to stay on top of scams, inform yourself on how to recognize the various types of scams and protect your personal information by visiting law enforcement organizations' websites, the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre or other reputable organizations.


It's not always easy to spot a scam, and new ones are invented every day.

If you suspect that you may be a target of fraud, or if you have already sent funds, don't be embarrassed - you're not alone.

If you want to report a fraud, or if you need more information, contact The Canadian Anti- Fraud Centre:

Ways to report fraud


 

Frauds and Scams Related Links

  • Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre
    The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre (CAFC) is the central agency in Canada that collects information and criminal intelligence on mass marketing fraud (telemarketing), advance fee fraud letters (e.g. West African), internet fraud and I.D theft complaints.
  • Credit Card Fraud
    Credit card fraud can happen several ways. Your card could be lost or stolen and used to purchase goods and services.
  • Debit Card Fraud
    Debit card fraud happens when a thief "skims" or swipes the information from the magnetic strip on the back of your card to create a duplicate of your card.
  • E-Mail Fraud / Phishing
    Phishing is a general term for e-mails, text messages and websites fabricated and sent by criminals and designed to look like they come from well-known and trusted businesses, financial institutions and government agencies in an attempt to collect personal, financial and sensitive information. It's also known as brand spoofing.
  • Fight Spam Quiz
    Take five minutes to learn how to protect yourself, your business or your organization from spam and other electronic threats.
  • Financial Consumer Agency of Canada
    Empowering Canadian financial consumers and promoting responsible financial market conduct.
  • Identity Theft and Identity Fraud
    Identity theft refers to the preparatory stage of acquiring and collecting someone else's personal information for criminal purposes.
  • Identity Theft and Identity Fraud Victim Assistance Guide
    If you are victim of identity theft or identity fraud, you should immediately take some basic steps to prevent further crimes from happening and to restore your credit and good name.
  • Internet Safety Resources
    A collection of safety tips, helpful presentations and links to other police-approved resources to help kids and parents surf the internet safely.
  • RCMP Scams and Frauds Resources
  • The Little Black Book of Scams
    Every year, Canadians lose millions of dollars to the activities of scammers who bombard us with online, mail, door-to-door and telephone scams. We are pleased to bring you the first Canadian edition of The Little Black Book of Scams. We hope this book will increase your awareness of the vast array of scams that target Canadians and share with you some easy steps you can take to protect yourself.

IMPORTANT NOTICES

Very Clever Credit Card Scam!
Beware of people bearing gifts. The following is a recounting of the incident from the victim.

More Notices

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