There are many things to keep in mind as you come to a new land like Canada. Between all the TO Do’s there are some “DON’T DO” stuff that you need to keep in mind as a newcomer too. Or simply you can say the things that you need to beware of especially when you are a newbie in Country. One of the important things is to beware of SCAMS in Canada.
Before I begin the information provided is based on my experience and how I have developed my learning curve over such things in 2 years. The numbers mentioned are taken from Better Business Bureau Canada. The whole purpose of this article is to help newcomers to have a prior knowledge of such activities to act smarter.
Scams in Canada
Like many other countries’ Scams/frauds are very common in Canada too. Especially for the new immigrants who are seen as an opportunity. It’s important to educate yourself on common frauds. Do your own homework and discuss with friends before taking any major step especially when it concerns money. The most common kinds of Scams are listed below.
- CRA Tax Scam:
This includes threatening calls from people claiming to be calling from CRA. The scammers can also text and email. People blackmailed for money otherwise they would be arrested or so. With the cryptocurrency growth, some scammers also requested money to be sent in Bitcoins. The numbers suggest that over $5 million was lost in 2017 and $6 million lost in 2018 by people and it was the 2nd biggest scam in 2018 as per BBB (Better Business Bureau). Just to make clear CRA does not make any threatening calls asking for money. Therefore, ignore such calls or texts. Block the number if you receive any automated calls like this.
- Employment Scam:
One thing all newcomers can be lurked to is through JOB OFFERS. Therefore, the target for such frauds people desperate for jobs, new immigrants, young people, and single parents. Job offers in the email asking for your personal information like SIN, Account Details or the cheques up front. The job offers are mostly home-based and are too good to be true. No reputable company will hire you without a series of interviews and asking personal details through email. Also, to note that these scammers approach you through job websites saying that they came across your profile and would want to offer you a job. DON’T click on such offer letters or respond to such emails. Just trash them and delete them forever.
- Online Purchase Scam:
Online shopping has made life better for all of us. But beware of fake websites. Any deal that looks too good to be true is not always good. Just make sure that you check your credit card statements regularly. Therefore, whenever you are making online purchases make sure you are not subscribing to anything monthly being charged on your credit card, therefore read thoroughly.
- Phishing Scams:
Taking any sensitive information through links in form by disguising a trustworthy entity in electronic communication is phishing. Fake websites, phony emails, and wire frauds are all part of phishing scams. AS per BBB Canada, the losses are far too much to be estimated. Therefore, don’t click on the email, any link in the email, or a website you don’t know especially those that open in Popup.
- Product Subscription/Trial Scam:
It includes online pop-ups for cosmetics or diet pills, to begin with. A request is don’t fall for misleading advertising as nothing is true unless backed up by evidence and nothing can change your weight or skin overnight so don’t wall for such fake promises. It’s alarming to know that the complaints about free trials scams were in thousands in 2018 only.
- Technical Support Scam:
This is a very common scam and happened with me many times. Scammers will call and mention that they are from Apple or Microsoft and ask for control of your computer. Or you click on the link while you are in between downloading something and you get a beep on your laptop screen telling its malfunctioned and now you need to call the support at a particular number displayed on the screen.
Do not call or give control to your laptop or devices like this. Rather than shutdown device refresh deletes all the latest downloads and install a licensed anti-virus.
- The Banking Info Scams
You get a call or a text from a person/unknown number saying your online banking has been blocked and you need to give your information. Sometimes scammers may say they are a police officer or a bank employee and trap you into wire transfer money through your account information.
If you get any such call or text. Don’t respond with any information asked. Go to the closest branch of your bank and solve it in person at the branch.
- Telephone Fraud
Getting calls from international numbers at weird timings is getting very common. Avoid answering such calls. Let it go to voice mail. These calls can take money from your phone account hence you end up paying bill double than your actual bill amount. Or you can get a single ring. And when you call back it charges you per minute, the charges may appear as a premium service on your bill and can be hundreds of dollars. Do not call back unknown numbers. And check your phone wills regularly.
Also, another scam on the phone is when you are asked a question “can you hear me?” and you say “YES” and call hangs-up. The scammer has got what was needed your Voice Signature. That can be used to authorize fraudulent charges to personal accounts and credit cards via telephone where voice authentication is permitted. (in most cases the scammer already has access to all your personal financial information before. To avoid this do not answer back to an automated voice asking you questions.
The Bottom Line is that fraudulent may always be smart but the basic thing is to act smarter in your own acts and activities. Therefore, it’s important not to let yourself fall prey to these scammers.