Many millions of dollars annually scammed from Canadians
Scams and frauds are seemingly more prevalent than ever. This is probably due in no small part to the ease and speed of communication domestically and internationally through our phone and internet connections.
The scams can target the old and the young and businesses, in other words almost anyone and everyone. Indeed in November of last year, even Canada’s national police force the RCMP, discovered it fallen victim to a scam. One of their gasoline credit cards had been cloned and the thieves charged more than $100,000 on it before it was detected.
Canada’s Competition Bureau estimated that last year Canadians lost some $97 milllion, which they believe is only five per cent of cases reported to authorities.
The top ten scams of 2018 includes as number 1 –Romance scams, through such things as online dating where connections are made but suddenly money is needed and requested by a potential mate. Estimates are over $22 million scammed from the love starved.
-2 Tax Extortion: calls claiming to be from the Revenue Department demanding immediate payment -$6million lost)
-3- Online purchase scams: fake websites, phony “free” trial offer traps, counterfeit goods etc- a wide variety of scams, $3.5 million lost
-4- job offer scams; usually involve a cheque with overpayment asking you to forward excess payment to a third party, but the cheque will prove fake and you are on the hook for your own lost money you forwarded Approx. $4.5 million lost in 2018
Others include, phishing, subscription scams, advance fee loans, tech support scams, home improvement scams, bank investor scams,”emergency” or “grandparent” scams, identity theft, and more.
- RCI: L Desjardins: Jan 24/19: Romance scams
- Government of Canada Fraud prevention month
- Government of Canada: Little Black Book of Scams- 2nd edition
- Better Business Bureau: top 10 scams
- Assoc. Certified Fraud Examiners: Scams of the elderly
- Canadian Bankers Assoc: Grandparent scam
- CBC: Marketplace investigation: “Free offer” scam
- CBC: Jul 18/18: Scam targeting international job seekers
- CBC: E Thompson: Nov 1/18: RCMP scammed
- Hamilton Spectator: S Contenta: Aug28/18: victim of grandparent scam
- CBC: N Sturgeon: jan 25/18: Victim of job scam