Better Business Bureau Canada Uncategorized

Top Scams for 2019

The Better Business Bureau has created a report for the top 10 riskiest scams that are currently happening in Canada. To get a copy of the report for 2019, you can download it from here

Get the guide from the BBB here

The Federal Government has also published the new Little Black Book of Scams on the Competition Bureau Website for 2019, which you can download here

Get the Little Black Book of Scams here

British Columbia

COVID-19 Scams

The Better Business Bureau has released some great information about the effects of COVID-19 along with scams that are starting to happen.

We are also hearing about scam callers that are taking advantage of the situation. For more information on scam callers, please review our post on Phone Fraud


How to cut back on scam calls with an iPhone

If you have an iPhone with the latest version of iOS,  there is a wonderful little setting on the phone that will send those unwanted scam and robocallers directly to voicemail.  
You can find the setting in your Settings app,  and under Phone,  look for “Silence Unknown Callers”.   This will allow your legit callers to reach you,  but if an unknown caller is trying to call you,  it will go directly to voicemail.  

Here is a screenshot from my phone where the setting is..

If you are not sure if you have the setting on your phone,  check with one of your family members. 

British Columbia

Know the Signs

The age old saying “if something seems too good to be true, it probably is” still applies today. No matter how sneaky fraudsters try to be, by keeping this in mind, you stand a better chance of warding off the bad guys. The best things in life may be free, but when you are asked for your credit card or personal information, it’s best to just leave it be. Beyond trusting your best instincts:

  • Review all fine print and terms and conditions before making a purchase.
  • Conduct open source searches to see if anybody has suggested the offer is a scam.
  • Beware of paid advertisements online. Paid banner ads are not always affiliated with the website you are viewing.
  • Prior to sending any funds or product, contact the person who requested the transfer in person or by telephone to confirm that the request is legitimate.
  • Beware of unusual or irregular email requests.
  • Never click on links or open attachments in unsolicited emails.
  • Review credit card statements regularly for unauthorized charges.
  • And remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Fake Online Endorsements

Followers and likes doesn’t mean its good advice

Consumers are often enticed to purchase a product or service based on reviews by social media influencers or those with a significant online presence. Unfortunately, there’s a chance that these reviews are not genuine and have in fact been paid for by a company as a marketing tactic. By not revealing their business interests and creating what seem to be authentic experiences or opinions, these influencers are misleading consumers and could be subject to action under the Competition Act.



When your hard-drive is kidnapped

Ransomeware is a type of malicious software designed to block access to a computer until a sum of money is paid. A computer can be infected by ransomware in a number of ways, but most commonly, victims click on a malicious link or attachment received through a phishing email. Once infected, victims will see a “ransom” note which is often designed to scare or extort the victims into making a payment. For instance, a message could appear saying that your personal files and pictures will be deleted unless the consumer pays $100-$250 via Bitcoin, Ukash, Apple Gift Cards, or PaySafe Card to have the computer unlocked


Spoofed Websites

A spoofed website is a site that uses deceptive means to mislead consumers into thinking that it represents a specific business, financial institution, government or charity. These websites generally imitate the real websites to sell products or services that may or may not be authentic, or to obtain sensitive financial or personal information from users. Often they will provide enough information to appear like the real thing, including the location of stores, phone numbers, terms and conditions, and logos.

When entering any form of personal information on a website, make sure you see a padlock next to the address, so you know that no-one else is monitoring what you are entering online. If you don’t see a padlock, someone could steal any personal detail you are entering on the website.


Employment Scams

Scammers use online classified websites like Kijiji, Craigslist, Monster, Indeed, and Workopolis to recruit potential victims. The most common scams include Mystery Shopper and HR/Administrative jobs. Consumers are offered a mystery shopper job after responding to an online ad or a text message. The victims receive a cheque in the mail with instructions to complete local purchases and send unspent funds through a money service business. Victims are told to document all experiences and evaluate customer service. Eventually, the cheque is returned as counterfeit and the “employee” is accountable to pay for the funds that were wired.

Another common job scam involves the victim acting as a financial receiver/agent. Victims are told to accept payment in their personal account (often by eTransfer or cheque), keep a portion and forward the remaining amounts to third party “employees” or “companies”. Victims are eventually advised by their bank that the original payment was fake or fraudulent and any subsequent monies sent are therefore paid out of the victim’s own pocket. Scammers will attempt to process as many payments as possible before the victim’s financial institution advises that the original payment was fake.

British Columbia

Keep your Credit Cards Safe

In today’s information age, your credit card information is at risk for theft.

Fortunately, you can try to avoid credit card fraud by keeping your credit card information extra safe.

Always be on guard for scammers who may try to trick you into giving up your credit card details.

Please Keep Your Credit Cards Safe.

One of the simplest ways to avoid credit card fraud is by keeping your credit cards safe from thieves.

Place your credit cards in a purse or wallet close to your body where it can’t easily be snatched away.

If you’re shopping in a high traffic area, carry a smaller purse because it’s harder to steal or sneak into.

For both men and women, carry only the one or two credit and debit cards you’ll be using that day.

Leave all your other credit cards at home.

Thieves can take pictures of your credit card with a camera or cell phone, so don’t leave your credit card exposed any longer than necessary.

After you make a purchase put your credit card away immediately.

Confirm you have your credit card back in your possession before you leave the store or restaurant.


Hoax News

Fraudulent or hoax news is becoming a chronic problem on social media and the Internet. In some instances “fake” news is being intentionally created and published to mislead the masses for political purposes or financial gain. In other instances, fake news headlines are used to lure victims to click on links and download malware and viruses onto their computers and mobile devices.

CONSUMER TIP: Don’t believe everything you read. Anyone can publish anything on the Internet. Social media allows both real and fake news to easily go viral. Consider the original source of all “news” content and be suspicious of unknown or pop-up news providers. Just because a news story has thousands or millions of views, does not make it legitimate. Use extreme caution when clicking on hyperlinks to news provided to you via email or social media and be sure to regularly update your virus software.