The BBB has compiled their annual list of the National Top Ten Scams of 2017:
ONLINE PURCHASE SCAMS
More Than $13 Million Lost
The most reported type of scam to BBB Scam Tracker. There isn’t just one. From fake websites to counterfeit goods to free trial traps and more, online purchase scams are everywhere.
- shop on reputable websites
- read all terms and conditions
- be wary of offers that are “too good to be true”
WIRE FRAUD / SPEARPHISHING
More Than $20 Million Lost
Canadian businesses lose millions every year to those posing as CEOs who redirect company money through wire and email transfers.
- build in payment redundancy systems
- make sure email addresses are correct
- educate your employees about these scams
ONLINE DATING SCAMS
More Than $19 Million Lost
Canadians lost a lot more than their hearts to catphishers in 2017. Online dating scams continue unabated to hurt those looking for love.
- never send money to someone you’ve never met
- always meet in person
- don’’ give out personal information such as email and phone number
More Than $5 Million Lost
Last year’s number one scam slides down the list, but still targets Canadians through reputable employment websites.
- if you didn’t apply, you didn’t get hired
- a legitimate company would not ask you to wire money as a “test”
- look for poor grammar, lack of job details, and over-the-top pay scale
More Than $1.7 Million Lost
Cryptocurrencies are speculative, high-risk investments that are mostly unregulated. As they have captured the attention of investors, so too have fraudsters taken notice.
- there is an elevated risk of fraud and manipulation
- some offerings may not comply with securities laws
INCOME TAX SCAM
More Than $5 Million Lost
For years Canadians from coast to coast have been targeted in the CRA tax scam. While we are getting better at recognizing it, the threatening phone calls keep coming.
- The CRA does not make threatening phone calls
- The CRA will not solicit personal information over the phone or by email
- Canadian government agencies do not accept payment in Bitcoin
MIRACLE WEIGHT-LOSS SCAM
Losing weight is a goal for many Canadians. Be careful — many fat-burning products may only lighten your wallet.
- if it looks too good to be true, it probably is
- don’t trust unsubstantiated claims
- there is no magic pill for rapid weight loss
ADVANCE FEE LOANS
More Than $1.5 Million Lost
The shady lender guarantees you’ll get a loan. They turn around and ask for an upfront payment as security.
- if you’re approved for a loan and they request money as security, walk away
- research reputable lenders
- a guarantee of a loan before any credit check is highly suspect
More Than $3 Million Lost
Yes, this is still a problem. Contractors without a conscience who take your deposit and disappear.
- be wary of unsolicited offers of work
- get several estimates for a job
- go to BBB.org to research trustworthy companies
Millions of Canadians have online accounts to companies like Amazon, UPS, Canada Post, and iTunes. Your email inbox is often stuffed with realistic looking invoices from many different organizations.
- contact the organization directly if you have concerns
- compare details of the invoice to your original order
- don’t click on any links or input personal information