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March is Fraud Prevention Month: Recognize, Report and Reject. 

If it seems too good to be true, it is. We are all targets for scammers. As we are spending more time and shopping online, our susceptibility and exposure to scams has also increased. The 2020 BBB Scam Tracker Risk Report helps to shed some light on how scams are being perpetrated, who is being targeted, and which scams have the greatest impact,  They also provide timely tips on how we can all better protect ourselves from fraud.  Here are a few highlights from the report. 

The riskiest scam reported by Canadians in 2020 was advance fee loan scams. The second riskiest scam was online purchases with the highest type of purchase being for pets and pet supplies. 

Impersonation is one of the most common tactics fraudsters use to perpetrate scams. By pretending to be well-known and trusted companies, government agencies, and organizations, scammers can better manipulate their targets. Scams impersonating Canada Revenue Agency is one of the most common types of impersonation scams.

Who is most at risk to scams?  Younger people lost money to scammers at higher rates than older people. Online purchase scams were the riskiest for ages 18 through 54 and the second riskiest for ages 55+. Romance are riskiest for ages 55 through 64. Fake cheque/ money order scams ranked #2 for the 18-24 ages and #3 for the ages 25-34.

How do you reduce your risk of losing money to online scams? 

  • Asking questions when unfamiliar with something

  • Tending to be skeptical when dealing with new situations

Also, by following these  Ten Tips to Avoid a Scam, you increase your likelihood to avoid most scams and protect you and your family. 

1. Never send money via gift card or wire transfer to someone you have never met face-to-face. 

2. Avoid clicking on links or opening attachments in unsolicited emails. 

3. Don’t believe everything you see..

4. Double check your online purchase is secure before checking out. 

5. Use extreme caution when dealing with anyone you’ve met online. 

6. Never share personally identifiable information

7. Resist the pressure to act immediately

8. Use secure and traceable transactions

9. Whenever possible, work with local businesses

10. Be cautious about what you share on social media.   

March is fraud prevention month. Report any suspicious activities to BBB Scam Tracker, and learn more about the different types of common scams on BBB.org/scamtips       

For more information and helpful tips visit the Canadian Anti-Fraud page.


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