Recently someone shared a story with me about an online purchase they had made on Amazon. When the product was delivered, they discovered that they were victims of an online shopping fraud scam. The item delivered was a very poor quality “knock off” of the brand they thought they were purchasing. They were lucky. After reporting the fraud to their Credit Card and the RCMP, they learned that the insurance on their card would reimburse them. Unfortunately, most frauds and scams do not end happily. As consumers, we all need to be vigilant about every aspect of our financial lives it seems, and this month is a good time to brush up on the latest warnings. March was Fraud Prevention Month and there are several must visit websites that CCRC wants to make sure you didn’t miss. These safe government resources will help protect you, your family and your small business, beyond March and throughout the coming year.
The Financial Consumer Agency of Canada has published a list of current trending frauds and scams that they want Canadian consumers to be aware of. Share them with your coworkers, family, friends and especially the seniors you love and care about. Visit www.fcac-acfc.gc.ca or read their fraud awareness newsletter at https://www.canada.ca/en/financial-consumer-agency/news/newsletters/newsletter-march-2019.html to learn more about topics which include:
· Don’t buy into online shopping fraud
· It pays to check: help stop counterfeit notes
· Protect yourself from investment fraud
· What is real estate fraud?
· How fraudsters target older Canadians and what to watch for
You will also want to visit the Canadian Antifraud Centre at; http://www.antifraudcentre-centreantifraude.ca/, where there are fascinating “recent reports”, topics on frauds, scams, extortion and more including the very timely CRA Tax scams so prevalent at this time of year.
Last, but not to be missed is www.getcybersafe.com. The information here is always up-to-date and loaded with the most current consumer tips and warnings on password safety and using Wi-Fi networks for example. If you’re a parent, you will want to read the important articles that relate to the safety of your children on social media sites, and gain some helpful tips and ideas to engage your kids in conversations around online safety.
If you own or operate a small business, getcybersafe.com is your go-to too, where you will find their newly published Get Cyber Safe Guide for Small and Medium Businesses guidelines booklet which you can download for free to help you protect your business, employees and your consumer’s data.
CCRC and Credit Counselling hopes that everyone will take some time to review these valuable websites to protect yourself and your money as much as possible from the hundreds of frauds and scams out there. These things can and do happen to anyone! If you or someone you know has been a victim, we will listen in a non-judgemental and caring manner. People turn to us for money management strategies, credit advice, repayment solutions and consumer information.
If you need a trusted resource to discuss your finances with, we are always here to help!