Fraud Alerts

Chances are, most of us have received that unsolicited email or a website link asking for information and sometimes it’s hard to know the difference between what’s legitimate and what isn’t. While fraud comes in many forms, the good news is that being aware can help you stay safe.

The Competition Bureau offers these great tips:

User awareness becomes KEY…check out what the Competition Bureau is doing in their effort to combat fraud.

Fraud Awareness Tips

  • Don’t be fooled by the promise of a valuable prize in return for a low-cost purchase.
  • Be extra cautious about calls, emails or mailings offering international bonds or lottery tickets, a portion of a foreign dignitary’s bank account, free vacations, credit repair or schemes with unlimited income potential.
  • Don’t be afraid to hang up the phone, delete the email or close your Internet connection.
  • Don’t purchase a product or service without carefully checking out the product, service and company.
  • Don’t be afraid to request further documentation from the caller so you can verify the validity of the company.
  • Never disclose personal information about your finances, bank accounts, credit cards, social insurance and driver’s license numbers to any business that can’t prove it is legitimate.
  • Shred unwanted personal information such as bank statements, credit card bills, unwanted receipts, cheques, pre-approved credit applications and old tax returns.
  • Check your credit report every year and report problems immediately.
  • If a scam artist contacts you, or if you’ve been defrauded: Report it! Your reports are vital to the anti-fraud efforts of law enforcement agencies.

Fraud Awareness

Scam artists rely on unsuspecting and uninformed people for their income.   Knowledge is power and, in this case, protection.

Investment Scam

An investment scam is any solicitation (telephone, mail, email, etc) for investments into false, deceptive or misleading investment opportunities, often referring to higher than normal or true monetary returns, through which consumers lose most or all of their money.

Online Auctions or Shopping Scams

Any products purchased through classified ads over the Internet or Internet auction sites where the buyer does not receive the items or received a product which is of inferior value, quality or it is not what it is supposed to be.A

Malicious Software (Malware) Affecting Online Banking

This malware creates a fake pop-up box prompting online banking users to enter their private security information.  Progressive Credit Union has not yet been affected by this scam but being aware that it exists is the first line of defence when it occurs.

The CRA Mail Scam

This particular scam has been around for several years but resurfaces every so often.  Fraudulent letters and/or email are sent out posing to be from the CRA that request personal banking information. More information is available on the CRA website.

Prize Pitch Lottery Scam

Prize pitch scammers will make you think you’ve won a prize or a lottery.  In order to “cash-in”, you have to pay fees and taxes.  Once you remit the funds, you never see the winnings and you are out of luck.

Romance Scam

Often, romance scams involve the victim and the fraudster meeting through a social networking site; however, this is not always the case.  The fraudster will gain the trust of the victim through displays of affection.  While the fraudster is usually located in a far-away country, they eventually ask to meet the victim in person.  It is at this time that the fraudster will advise they can’t afford to travel and will seek assistance from the victim in covering travel costs.  Other variations include the fraudster presenting situations of emergency/ urgency, such as a sick family member, and seeking financial assistance from the victim for various costs.

Bank Inspector Fraud

One of the oldest and most lucrative scams out there. Fraudsters posing as investigators from your financial institution or local police department will call requesting your help in the investigation of a bank employee who is embezzling money.

Middleman Business Opportunity

Contact is made by mail, email, website, telephone, or newspaper.  You are asked to deposit a large cheque on their behalf, keep a portion as your “processing fee”, and send the remainder back via bank draft.  The cheque you received from them is eventually returned and you lose the money that you sent to them. 

Hit man scam

Emails which claim that “you have been betrayed by someone” and that they have been hired to “kill you”.  The eā€mails go on to say that, for a price (usually double what the hitman was paid), the scammer will cancel the contract and provide the name of the individual who hired him.

Nigerian Letter or Advanced Fee Fraud

In this scam, contact is made by mail or email.  They ask you to send them an upfront processing fee to assist with the costs of processing a large cheque.  The cheque will be returned and you lose the money you sent them.

Overpayment for an item

Contact is made by purchasing an item from you online, in the newspaper or in person.  They will pay you too much, usually with a counterfeit cheque.   You will be asked to send a bank draft or cheque back for the extra amount.  Eventually, their cheque will be returned and you lose the money sent back plus the value of the item sold.

Phoney inheritance

Contact is made via mail or email.  You will be asked to provide your bank account details or send an upfront processing fee.  You will be promised a percentage of their inheritance, usually paid by counterfeit cheque.  This cheque will be returned and you lose the money you sent them, or they will take all the funds in your account.