Did you know that March is fraud prevention month? 1000s of Canadians are defrauded every year, and you can’t afford to be next. Fraud can encompass a lot – the theft of your money, identity, and even self-respect.
Knowing the signs and learning how to protect yourself is your best bet to stay safe.
How much do you really know about fraud?
How to Protect Yourself
- First and foremost, be wary. Don’t be afraid to hang up the phone, ignore an email or close your internet connection – and please, never be fooled by the offer of a valuable prize in return for a low-cost purchase.
- Do your homework! Don’t give out valuable information or make a purchase without really inspecting the vendor. How trusted is the company, and are you making your purchase through appropriate channels?
- Bank statements, credit card bills, cheques, old tax returns and any other statements that have important personal information should be shredded when you’re done with them.
- Check your credit report annually and report any issues right away! Better safe than sorry!
- Until you know a business is 100% legitimate, never disclose your financial information, credit card numbers, driver’s license number or any bank information. If you’re worried that you’ve been contacted by a scam artist, contact PhoneBusters, the Canadian Anti-Fraud Call Center at 1-888-495-8501
Know When You’re a Target
- Health fraud is currently a major concern for Canadians. Scams include weight-loss schemes, cure-all promises, or products claiming amazing side-effects.
- Most “miracle cures” are really scams that will rob you of time, money and most importantly, your health. Always remain cautious and discuss any treatments with a qualified health professional before you move ahead.
- Around 35% of Canadians say they’ve been victims of mass marketing fraud.
- 82% believe mass marketing fraud is currently on the rise. It’s commonly thought that education and understanding is the best form of combat.
For more tips on how to prevent yourself from falling victim to scams, check out the Competition Bureau’s fraud page.