Who are fraudsters?

•    Some fraudsters impersonate government agencies, legitimate businesses and charities. One of the Top 10 scams of 2012 is a computer virus scam in which frausters pose as Microsoft employees offering to help fix your computer.
•    Fraudsters act very professionally and often have developed genuine looking websites or marketing materials.
•    Fraudsters have well thought out answers to any tough questions you may ask them.
•    Fraudsters often request payment fees before providing services.

What should you do if you suspect you have been a victim of fraud?

If you suspect that you have been scammed, make sure you keep all relevant documentation. This could include any written documentation including:

•    Contracts
•    Cancelled cheques
•    Fax transmission reports or registered mail receipts
•    Money order receipts
•    Email correspondence
•    Credit card receipts
•    Phone bills

If you believe you may have been scammed, consider reporting it to the appropriate authorities. Doing this helps to break the cycle of fraud as it alerts authorities and other consumers to be cautious in similar situations. To report a scam, contact the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.

Over the past several years, we have posted some interesting case studies related to fraud and the work that we’ve done. You can check then all out on our website:

The Case of the Sweet Talking Swindler
The Case of the Greedy Grandson
The Case of the Loan Shark Lender
The Case of the Fraudulent Furnace Installer
The Case of the Desperate Debtor
The Case of the Sneaky Serviceman
The Case of the Tempting T-Bird
The Case of the Renovation Rip-Off
The Case of the Swindled Senior

March is fraud prevention month. Keep an eye out for more tips and information on Facebook, Twitter, and the Consumer Protection BC Website.