Unfortunately, money scams have become common knowledge within Canada. Each year, millions of dollars are stolen from pockets of Canadians in increasingly clever ways. It is important to stay up to date with the scams that are being reported, but even more important to always be cautious with any payment that is new. Bringing down the fraudsters is a difficult job, but by understanding how they work and who they target, you can avoid yourself or someone you know from getting their hard earned money taken.
Here are a few of the most commonly seen scams within Canada.
Canada Revenue Agency
This is one that you may have heard about already – or even been a victim of. This is where the first lesson comes in, if you are asked for money over the phone by someone you don’t know, check for credibility. This scam works by callers targeting individuals stating that they owe the CRA money, and without immediate action, they could face an arrest warrant. In some cases, the caller may advise you to not tell anybody about the call, saying that it is confidential. They also may ask you to pay them in strange ways, with gift cards, bitcoins, etc.
Keep in mind that the CRA does NOT make threatening phone calls and/or request information by phone or email. If they contact you, it will be by mail.
As if getting involved with someone faking an identity isn’t already bad enough – often, online romancers are known to trick you into giving them money. While online dating isn’t a guarantee for being scammed, you should always be cautious when someone asked you to send them money online – especially if you have never met them.
Pro tip: Read the fine print!
With E-Commerce purchases growing, there are a lot of chances for online scammers to trick you into giving them sensitive information. Shopping online doesn’t need to be scary, make sure the website you are giving information to is secure (HTTPS instead of HTTP) and read the fine print. A common way that these companies take money from people is by offering amazing deals where you only have to pay a small portion or shipping fees, but once they gather your information they continue to bill you for other “purchases” too, and can at any time.