Whether it's Internet or mail fraud, deceptive telemarketing or identity theft, fraud is a serious problem. March is Fraud Prevention Month, with an aim to raise awareness of fraud prevention.
Thousands of Canadians are defrauded each year. By learning how to recognize a scam and report it, you can protect yourself and prevent others from becoming a victim of fraud.
Here are some tips to help safeguard against fraud:
• If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is! This includes making easy money with a small investment or sending money to claim a gift or prize.
• The Durham Regional Police Major Fraud Unit suggests purchasing a small home shredder for sensitive data. Shred all pre-approved credit offers, card receipts, phone bills, old cheques, etc before discarding.
• If someone claims to need you (and your money) to uncover a bank fraud, contact the police immediately. Banks do not use customers in this manner.
• Avoid the temptation of a bargain when a repairman shows up at your home uninvited to tell you that areas of your house need repairing and that he can do the job very cheaply.
• Hang up on callers that ask personal questions, pressure you to get involved in something you know nothing about (a scheme, lottery, prize, etc.) or call you often.
• Do not carry birth certificates, passports, SIN cards or extra credit cards on you unless necessary.
• If you are solicited to donate, be cautious. Get information from the canvasser or caller, then cross-check directly through the registered charity. Registered Canadian charities (for income tax purposes) are listed on the Canada Revenue Agency website.
• Click here to view more tips.
If you are unsure of a situation, contact Durham Police at 905-579-1520 or one of the following organizations:
Competition Bureau - 1–800–348–5358
Canadian Anti–Fraud Centre (formerly Phonebusters) - 1–888–495–8501
Better Business Bureau
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