While scams may differ, the ways you can protect yourself are often the same. Here are our top 6 tips to protect you from scammers.
Top 6 tips to protect you from scammers
Beware of unexpected calls, emails or texts. If something seems odd, completely unexpected, or just doesn’t feel quite right, trust your gut and don’t engage. Avoid clicking any links in emails or texts that are unexpected or out of character.
Be protective of your personal information. If someone calls or emails you asking for your personal information, it’s a good time to start being suspicious. If you didn’t initiate the conversation, you have no idea who you’re speaking to. It’s important to guard sensitive information, such as your:
- Social insurance number
- Credit card information
Think carefully before you act. If you feel pressured into making a quick decision or if the person is playing on your emotions, don’t be afraid to say no. These tactics are a big red flag that the person you’re dealing with is a scammer. Remember to take your time and think very carefully before you make any rash decisions. You may want to talk to a trusted friend or family member if you are unsure.
Do your research. Take your time and do some digging. Can you independently verify that this person or business is legitimate? Look online for the contact information for the company that supposedly contacted you and call them to confirm it was actually them. Scammers will frequently pose as reputable businesses, banks, or even the CRA.
Be suspicious of any upfront fees. Many scams request you to pay fees in advance of receiving goods, services, or a prize. There are no prize fees or taxes in Canada. If you won it, it’s free. It’s illegal for a company to ask you to pay a fee upfront before they’ll give you a loan. Learn more about advance fee loan scams.
Protect your devices and online accounts. Use strong passwords for all your accounts and only log in using trusted devices. Be sure to avoid using public Wi-Fi for any sensitive online transactions like online banking or situations where you enter your credit card information.
Get a strange email with spelling and formatting errors? Don’t click on any suspicious links or attachments, as they may contain viruses or spyware. Anti-virus software and up to date operating systems can help protect you and your personal devices from attacks.
What to do if you fall victim to fraud
Follow these steps from the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre and be sure to report the issue to them as well.
Did we miss anything? What are your top tips for avoiding scams?
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About Consumer Protection BC
We are responsible for regulating specific industries and certain consumer transactions in British Columbia. If your concern is captured under the laws we enforce, we will use the tools at our disposal to assist you. If we can’t help you directly, we will be happy to provide you with as much information as possible. Depending on your concern, another organization may be the ones to speak to; other times, court or legal assistance may be the best option. Explore our website at www.consumerprotectionbc.ca.
5 thoughts on “Top 6 tips to protect you from scammers”
A Co. from the States (not sure) they are called Hi5Time, have ripped me off for over 200 dollars. I ordered several items the first one being a convertible Baby diaper bag that converts to be used as bed in a vehicle! Cost was over 100 dollars with taxes etc. Then awhile later I ordered two bracelets for relief of Arthritis when a person wears them, cost was over 80 dollars. It’s been over 6 months since I placed this order. I’ve made numerous requests for the merchandise or just give me back my money . They have continued to ignore my requests but keep sending requests and pictures of different merchandise they want me to order from them! Never received a refund or the order I made many months ago! I don’t know what else I can do about this situation! Please help if you can. SMP. Abbotsford BC..
Hi Sylvia, we have written a blog post in the past about what to do when you don’t receive an online order. Here is the link. Please read through the post, especially the section under “how to cancel your order and request a refund”. It outlines a step-by-step process of how to get your money back. I hope you will be able to resolve the issue quickly.
Thank you for posting the six tips. Everybody is being deluged with pie in the sky offers and they make it hard to resist! I find myself unsubscribing from about 10 websites every week to avoid being gullible
I keep getting the phone calls saying that unauthorized amounts are on my credit card. Then they want your CC number etc… I have been blocking the numbers but it still continues. I am a senior and thankfully I know its a scam but some others do not.
I totally understand, Susan. The only way to protect others is to spread the word and let them know about some of the latest scams. Knowledge is power!