March is Fraud Prevention Month and both the RCMP and the Block Watch Society want to prevent our Crime Prevention Groups from becoming victims of fraud by helping them to “Recognize it – Report it – Stop it!” Fraudsters rely on some basic techniques to be successful.
Fraud techniques to watch out for:
Professional-looking marketing materials
Believable answers for your tough questions
Impersonate government agencies, legitimate businesses, websites, charities and causes
Pretend to be your ordinary supplier
Hide the true details in the fine print
Prey on areas of vulnerability, including those needing help with loans or finding employment
Ask for fees in advance of promised services
Threaten legal action to collect on alleged contracts
Falsely claim affiliation with reliable sources, such as legitimate news sites to support their products or services
Exchange victim lists with other fraudsters
Keep personal information confidential. Do not give out personal information (including credit card number) over the phone, through email or over the Internet unless you initiated the contact and know who you’re dealing with.
Keep your personal information safe. An identity thief may pick through your garbage or recycling bins, so be sure to shred receipts, copies of credit applications, insurance forms, etc.
Protect your PIN and passwords. Do not reveal your PIN or passwords to anyone, including employees of your bank or credit union, family members and friends.
Beware of “Too Good to Be True” offers. Be wary of unexpected offers or requests that
are “too good to be true.”
Contact the authorities. If you suspect you are a victim of fraud, contact your bank and the Police immediately.
Develop good password habits; change them often and use unique ones that are hard to guess.
Ensure the website address makes sense. Is the name in the address or is it someone/thing else.
Consider a low-limit credit card to use for online purchases.
Visit the Competition Bureau for more information and prevention tips on the Competition Bureau fraud prevention page at: http://www.competitionbureau.gc.ca/eic/site/cb-bc.nsf/eng/02595.html
RCMP Fraud Campaign News releases, scams and fraud:
Better Business Bureau’s Top 10 Scams:
Here is another easy to follow website that describes quite a few scams happening today:
By Regan Borisenko