Learn How to Spot a Scam and Protect Yourself
Mar 28, 2014 12:13 ET
To wrap up Fraud Prevention Month, we want to remind citizens that whether it's Internet or mail fraud, deceptive telemarketing, door to door soliciting or identity theft, fraud is a serious problem.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.
Thousands of Canadians are defrauded each year. Today we are going to help you to recognize a scam so you won’t become a victim, how you can report it, how to protect yourself and how to help prevent others from becoming victims.
Here are some tips to help safeguard against fraud:
Do not submit to threats of pay now or you’ll be arrested. Police do not attend residences to collect outstanding debt.
Use caution when purchasing items from online sources. Meet sellers in a safe location and do not offer payment through the Internet.
Be wary when you meet someone through a dating website if they ask you to send money or e-transfer money, deposit cheques or issue money orders, in particular to foreign countries. Most turn out to be fraudulent and you’ll be responsible for the debt.
Check your credit rating with Equifax and TransUnion. There is a fee associated with the check, but better to be safe than sorry.
When you’re on banking websites, be wary of pop-up messages requesting personal information and/or PIN.
Never give out your personal information or PIN number over the phone or through the computer. Trustworthy companies will never ask for this information.
Purchase 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. Turn away solicitors when they show up at your home uninvited, offering a great deal.
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.
If you are unsure of a situation, contact Durham Police at 1-888-579-1520 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
If you think you have fallen victim to a scam, please call 1-888-579-1520.
On Monday, we’ll share some examples of real cases that have been investigated by our Fraud Unit so you can better understand how to avoid becoming a victim.
Below are attached files.
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