March is Fraud Prevention Month in Canada.
“Education and awareness are the keys to stopping fraud” says Don Mackinnon, president and CEO of the Better Business Bureau Serving the Atlantic Provinces. To make consumers aware the BBB has compiled a list of the top 10 scams that are taking place in Atlantic Canada.
1. Computer Virus fixing Scam
2. Credit Card Interest Rates
3. Advance Fee Loans Scam
4. Debt Settlement
5. Door to Door Sales
6. Mystery Shopping
7. Foreign Lotteries
9. Phishing Scams
10. Inheritance Scams
MacKinnon says consumers should check with BBB before doing business with any firm. “Consumers should always take a few minutes to check with us about any unfamiliar mail, email or telephone call they receive. It could save you hundreds or even thousands of dollars”. The BBB offers the following tips to help consumers protect themselves:
• Do not provide your credit card or bank account number to any unknown firm.
• Do not open email attachments or click on links from any unknown person or company.
• If you have won a prize, do not send money to the promoter for taxes or other fees.
• Never agree to provide any upfront fee for a “guaranteed” loan.
• Never agree to wire money back to a firm or individual if they have overpaid you for a good or service or have hired you to perform a mystery shop.
• Limit what personal information that you put on social networking sites.
• Always shred any unwanted documentation, unsolicited mail or credit card applications that contain personal information.
• Carry only the identification that you need. Put other identification such as SIN, birth certificate and passport in a safe place.
• Never let your debit card or credit card out of your site when conducting a transaction at point of sale.