Fraud Prevention Month is an annual campaign that seeks to help you recognize, reject and report fraud.
Become a real-life superhero by arming yourself with the information you need to fight fraud and keep yourself, your family and your money safe.
You work hard for your money. You want to spend it on things that matter to you—whether it’s your children’s education, an exciting trip or a new smartphone.
Fraudsters are real. They are out there every day looking for victims. They will target you online, over the phone, by mail or in person.
You’re a target. Thousands of Canadians lose millions of dollars to fraudsters every year. The impact of fraud on families and businesses can be devastating.
Learn to fight fraud. This booklet includes 12 of the most common scams currently targeting Canadians. It is filled with tips and tricks on how to protect yourself and what to do if you get scammed.
Report it! Anyone can be targeted, from teenagers, to grandparents, to senior corporate officers. The best thing you can do is to report the fraud, whatever the amount, to the appropriate authorities. Don’t be embarrassed as it will help others from falling for it.
Knowledge is your power. Protect yourself by seeking out more information. In addition to this booklet, you can also consult numerous trusted websites for more information.
The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre, managed by the RCMP, the Competition Bureau and the Ontario Provincial Police, has plenty of information on fraud. Power up today by visiting http://www.antifraudcentre.ca!
- Fraud Prevention Month is an annual awareness campaign that empowers Canadians with the information they need to recognize, reject and report fraud.
- Follow #FPM2019 on Twitter to join the conversation on fraud prevention.
- Since 1983, Option consommateurs promotes and defends the interests of consumers and ensures that their interests are respected. They take a close interest in questions related to personal finances, financial services, business practices and private life, among others.
- The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre is the central agency in Canada that collects information and criminal intelligence fraud.
- The Canada Revenue Agency regularly communicates with Canadians through various channels. To help you identify legitimate communications from the CRA, be aware of these guidelines and know what to expect when the CRA contacts you.
Red flags: things to watch for
Learn to recognize the signs that something is amiss
- Wire transfer
- Many scams involve a request to wire money electronically using a money transfer service, like MoneyGram and Western Union, or using cryptocurrency, such as Bitcoin. Remember that sending a transfer through these services is like sending cash—once the amount is picked up, it’s almost impossible to get your money back.
- When you’re selling something—especially online—be wary of how you get paid. A fraudster may send you a counterfeit cashier’s, personal or corporate cheque in an amount in excess of what they owe. You’ll be asked to deposit the cheque and wire the excess funds immediately back to them. Once your bank realizes the cheque is a fake, you’ll be on the hook for the money withdrawn.
- Spelling mistakes
- Be skeptical of emails, messages or websites that contain misspelled common words; grammar errors that make it difficult to read or expressions that are used incorrectly. Email and web addresses should also be examined closely to see if there are subtle mistakes or differences.
- Personal information request
- Fraudsters may ask potential victims to provide more personal or financial information than is required for the transaction or discussion. Be suspicious if someone asks for copies of your passport, driver’s licence and social insurance number, or birth date, especially if you don’t know the requestor.
- Unsolicited calls
- You might get a call from someone claiming that you have a virus on your computer, you owe taxes or there has been fraudulent activity in your bank accounts. Know that legitimate organizations will not call you directly. Hang up and call the organization yourself using the number from a trustworthy source, such as the phone book, their website, or even invoices and account statements.
- Unsolicited friend requests on social media
- Don’t accept friend requests from people you don’t know until you review their profile or ask your real-life friends if they know them. Does their profile look fairly empty or have posts that are very generic? Do they seem to be promising more than friendship? These are some red flags that point to a scam. Delete that request and block future ones.
- Astounding mail offers
- You received a game card in the mail. It guarantees you will or have already won. Prizes might range from cars to trips. If you have not entered a contest, throw that card away. It’s probably a scam!
- It’s just too good to be true
- Everybody loves a great deal. But shocking offers, unbelievable discounts and unreal rates may signal that the offer isn’t quite what it seems. Cheap prices usually equal cheap products, or counterfeit goods. Free offers may require