Five on the Fifth - Frauds & Scams

Coquitlam

2017-07-05 15:44 PDT

Of the 156 million phishing emails sent daily, 800,000 links are clicked and 80,000 people fall for a scam every day (an approximation of the global totals of phishing emails and victims). Maybe you or someone you know has been targeted: You get a text or an email from your financial institution saying your account is locked or an email from Revenue Canada saying that you have a tax refund, you’re asked to click on a link… If you clicked, you’re not alone. To help you and your loved ones stay safe we compiled a list of the five most common frauds and scams reported at the detachment with some tips on how to protect yourself.

  1. Online dating scams. Don’t let your summer romance cost you. Online dating can bring more risks than just discovering there is little resemblance between the photo posted online and the person in real life. Some men and women prey on those looking for love by building a relationship online only to dupe the unsuspecting person out of their money. In 2016, nearly 750 Canadians lost over $17 million to romance fraudsters. If you are looking for love online be wary when you’re asked to send money for an unforeseen emergency, especially when you’ve never even met the person in rea life. More on protecting yourself from romance scams.
  2. Tax scams. The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) doesn’t text or email you refunds. Receive a text or email from the CRA saying you have a tax refund? It’s a scam. Don’t click the link, just hit delete. Similarly, the CRA will not ask you to pay back taxes with store gift cards. If you receive threatening phone calls asking you to pay your back taxes with store gift cards, it’s a scam. More on CRA scams
  3. Ticket scams. Don’t miss the show. Missed out on getting tickets for the hottest show this summer, but found some online through a re-seller? Before parting with your money for the tickets take precautions to ensure they are legitimate. If you can, only purchase from authorized ticket distributors, the box office, or try and verify the ticket number through an authorized distributor. Once you get your tickets, avoid posting photos of them online or you may find someone stole your tickets by using the photo you posted. Get more information on buying concert tickets from Get Cyber Safe.
  4. A different kind of ticket scam. Traffic tickets won’t arrive in your inbox. In May, several detachments across Canada (including the Coquitlam RCMP) received reports from people about alleged traffic ticket notices received via email. The emails purport to be from the RCMP claiming the recipient owes money for a traffic violation. In order to pay the fine, the recipient is asked to click on a link. Similar to the CRA emails this is a phishing scam. The RCMP does not email to collect fines for traffic violations and the emails should be deleted and reported to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.
  5. Door-to-door scams. A local scam that seems to surface every year is the tow truck scam. In this instance, the scammer knocks on a stranger’s door and tells them a tale of woe that usually includes a car crash and needing money for a tow truck. Rather than giving them money, offer to call the police so they can file an incident report. Find out more on door-to-door scammers.

Links:
Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre
Get Cyber Safe
 
Five on the fifth is an occasional series of five lesser known facts about well-known crime and safety issues. Five on the Fifth is compiled and released by the Coquitlam RCMP Communications and Public Affairs Team when the 5th of the month falls on a weekday. Follow #FiveOnTheFifth on Twitter to get the latest updates.

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