The main means of communication that fraudsters use to target the public are websites, emails, telemarketing and regular mail.

Fraudsters take advantage of modern communication tools to avoid any face-to-face contact with victims. Fraudsters use fictitious names, addresses and identities to avoid apprehension by law enforcement. Often fraudsters register phone numbers, websites and email accounts with fictitious information. Victims are asked to send money using money transfer services to another jurisdiction or country.

The more common schemes include:

  • Grandparent or Emergency Scam
  • Advanced Fee Loan
  • Secret Shoppers
  • Attorney Collection Scam
  • Lottery/Sweepstakes
  • Fraudulent Work at Home Offers
  • Internet Auction Overpayment/Reimbursement
  • Internet Auction Advanced Fees
  • Internet Auction Ghost sales
  • Fraud loss Recovery Scam

Consumers are reminded to be diligent and cautious when engaging in financial transactions that are not in-person. Some of the below tips may be helpful in preventing this type of fraud:

  • Never use verification information provided by the other party engaged in the financial transaction. The address provided by the other party may be false and the phone number may be registered to a fictitious name. Many scammers use toll-free phone numbers to add to the appearance of legitimacy. They use mail box addresses that appear to be suites in well-known financial districts
  • Consider your recourse. What would you do if the transaction goes bad? How would you recover your money? If you have sent money outside your jurisdiction you may not have any practical recourse to recover your money. If you have sent money outside your country there may not be any legal recourse to recover your money. Remember, once the money leaves Canada it is now outside the laws of Canada
  • Conduct independent research prior to engaging in the transaction. Have you searched the names and addresses on the internet for reports or complaints against the company or person?
  • If you are using a bank, money transfer service or e-commerce service for payment, contact them directly. Never use email links provided by the other party engaged in the transaction