BBB Announces National Top 10 Scams of 2016
We all constantly recieve those emails, phone calls, knocks on the door and or letters from notoriusly dishonest people trying to scam or steal our money and destroy our trust in mankind. This article from the BBB and their new Scam Tracker website is a great resource for us all. Local businesses and citizens have a way to report and check on new scams quickly but as the wise always tell me “If it is too good to believe then don’t believe it!” Thanks Dad! Changing your passwords regularly is also a very good idea. – I hope the article is as enlightening for you as it was for me! – Paul Crossman.
Kitchener, ON – BBB’s across Canada have been working diligently to bring you the most prevalent scams that targeted Canadians in 2016. The nefarious list is an amalgamation of information gathered from BBB’s Scam Tracker website, the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre and concerns brought forward by sponsors and community partners.
The truth is, it’s not good news and the numbers don’t lie. Canadians lost more money in 2016 than the past two years. In fact, 50% more than in 2015. Last year, scammers took over 90 million out of the pockets of Canadians in a menagerie of ways from fake employment to online dating to misleading reviews.
There is some good news. Our number one scam from last year has been in decline. A call centre in India was raided and the dreaded Canada Revenue Agency Tax Scam dropped off dramatically. While the numbers for that scam remain down, it has not gone away entirely.
“The positive take away right now, is that there appears to be more reporting going on which would explain some of the increase in money lost,” says Danielle Primrose, President and CEO of BBB serving Mainland BC. “But at the end of the day it still only represents at most 5% of what was actually taken from Canadians. There is a lot more work to be done and a lot more awareness to be raised and a lot more reporting to do. Don’t be ashamed, let someone know if you’ve been scammed.”
The Top 10 Scams of 2016
1. Employment Scams
2. Online Dating Scams
3. Identity Fraud
4. Advance Fee Loans
5. Online Purchase Scams
6. Wire Fraud – Spearphishing
7. Binary Option Scams
8. Fake Lottery Winnings
9. Canada Revenue Agency Scams
10. Fake Online Endorsements
“BBB derived much of the information from our new web page, BBB Scam Tracker,” adds Primrose. “While we have focused on these ten scams, there have been nearly 50 thousand scams reported across North America since 2015.”
One of the key things people can do to prevent getting scammed is to regularly change their passwords to online accounts. With that in mind, BBB is launching its second annual ‘National BBB Password Day’ on March 15th, 2017. We hope to inspire and remind Canadians about the importance of protecting their online presence. #bbbpasswordday
Spot a business or offer that sounds like an illegal scheme or fraud? Tell us about it. Help us investigate and warn others by reporting what you know. Visit us at www.bbb.org/scamtracker.