Fraud



The Competition Bureau, along with the Fraud Prevention Forum, plays an important role in helping Canadians get the information they need to be informed and confident consumers. Consumers also have a role to play in stopping fraud by arming themselves with the facts and reporting fraud when they encounter it.

How to Avoid Identity Theft

Identity theft is nothing new, and yet it still manages to cost its victims billions of dollars (yes, that’s billions with a “b”) globally each year—not to mention the time and hassle involved in recovering a stolen identity. The good news is that there are tons of things you can do to deter identity thieves. Diamond North Credit Union will teach you helpful tips on how to do more than just set a decent password!

Watch this short video to learn more about how to avoid identity theft here!

How to Spot Scams

How is it that scammers are able to trick the average person into making costly and humiliating mistakes? Scammers are very good at crafting situations that create “amygdala hijack”, which is a term used to describe what happens when the brain perceives an emergency situation. Fear, urgency or threatening behaviour can trigger a reaction in your brain that sidesteps the usual neural pathways. Amygdala hijack is what compels you to act before any rational thought can kick in—and this is what many scams are designed to get you to do. In a state of amygdala hijack, you might comply with a scammer’s request before your brain gets a chance to notice any red flags. This helps to explain why smart people fall for (seemingly) obvious scams. In order to create the degree of urgency that triggers amygdala hijack, scammers rely on the following tactics: scarcity, authority and credibility.

Watch this short video and learn more about how to spot scams here!

Recognize It!

Thousands of Canadians of all ages and from all walks of life are defrauded each year. There is no typical fraud victim in Canada. Fraud targets Canadians of all ages and from all walks of life. Recognizing fraud is the first step to better protecting yourself.

Fraudsters are professional criminals that know what they are doing. Fraudsters rely on some basic techniques to be successful. These include:

  • developing professional-looking marketing materials;
  • providing believable answers for your tough questions;
  • impersonating government agencies, legitimate businesses, websites, charities, and causes;
  • pretending to be your ordinary supplier;
  • hiding the true details in the fine print;
  • preying on areas of vulnerability, including those needing help with loans or finding employment;
  • asking for fees in advance of promised services;
  • threatening legal action to collect on alleged contracts;
  • falsely claiming affiliation with reliable sources, such as legitimate news sites to support their products or services;
  • and exchanging victim lists with other fraudsters.

Report It! Stop It!

Reporting Fraud is Critical - The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre estimates that less than 5% of the total number of fraud victims report their experiences to law enforcement agencies. By reporting a scam, you provide law enforcement with the information they need to stop fraudsters and help prevent others from becoming victims. The information you provide is important!

How to Report Fraud

Fraudulent or suspicious activity can be reported to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre, through its website or by telephone at 1-888-495-8501.

Report instances of misleading or deceptive marketing practices to the Competition Bureau using the online complaint form or by telephone at 1-800-348-5358. If you are a victim of fraud, let your local police force know.

If you decide to file a complaint, it is important that you keep any evidence you may have related to your complaint. Evidence may include, but is not limited to, the following:

  • cancelled cheques
  • certified or other mail receipts
  • chatroom or newsgroup text
  • credit card receipts
  • shipping envelopes
  • facsimiles
  • money order receipts
  • pamphlets or brochures
  • phone bills
  • printed or electronic copies of emails
  • printed or electronic copies of web pages
  • wire receipts
  • notes taken as events take place
Keep evidence items in a safe location in the event that you are requested to provide them. This information may form an important part of any investigation. The information you provide could be used as evidence during a prosecution

Learn More From These Informational Videos

View more videos here!
 

I WANT TO