From rental scams to mail-order brides, there’s a ton of new tricks that fraudsters are using to scam Canadians out of their hard-earned money.
The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre takes the month of March to inform consumers and businesses alike of the newest scams and technical updates to older kinds of fraud.
Over $110 million in losses was reported to the CAFC last year and they compiled their list of top 10 scams based on dollar loss.
- Wire Fraud
- Sale of Merchandise
Wire fraud has evolved over the last few years and usually involves a fake CRA call, saying that there is outstanding taxes. Threats to freeze the victims assets, take them to court or even have them arrested are common and will only stop once a payment is made. Fraudsters will ask for wire-transfers, e-mail transfers, gift cards and the latest trend, Bitcoins.
The biggest threat to students is the rental scam. Scammers will pirate real ads and ask for a deposit before showing the unit. This is usually used when the potential renter is from out of town and can’t physically view the property. Sometimes the “owner” will lower the deposit and make it sound like a great deal, throwing in free parking or utilities. Service Alberta Manager of Investigations Mike Areshenko says the easiest way to avoid falling victim is to visit the property, make sure that the owner has keys and ask for proof of ownership such as a deed.
Fraud prevention month goes all through March with events put on by the Calgary Police and the Anti-Fraud Centre. Visit antifraudcentre.ca for more information.