March is Fraud Prevention Month
By Regan Borisenko Vernon RCMP
March is Fraud Prevention Month and both the RCMP and the Block Watch Society want to prevent our Crime Prevention Groups from becoming victims of fraud by helping them to “Recognize it – Report it – Stop it!” Fraudsters rely on some basic techniques to be successful.
Fraud techniques to watch out for: Professional-looking marketing materials Believable answers for your tough questions Impersonate government agencies, legitimate businesses, websites, charities and causes Pretend to be your ordinary supplier Hide the true details in the fine print Prey on areas of vulnerability, including those needing help with loans or finding employment Ask for fees in advance of promised services Threaten legal action to collect on alleged contracts Falsely claim affiliation with reliable sources, such as legitimate news sites to support their products or services Exchange victim lists with other fraudsters
Best Defence: Keep personal information confidential. Do not give out personal information (including credit card number) over the phone, through email or over the Internet unless you initiated the contact and know who you’re dealing with. Keep your personal information safe. An identity thief may pick through your garbage or recycling bins, so be sure to shred receipts, copies of credit applications, insurance forms, etc. Protect your PIN and passwords. Do not reveal your PIN or passwords to anyone, including employees of your bank or credit union, family members and friends. Beware of “Too Good to Be True” offers. Be wary of unexpected offers or requests that are “too good to be true.” Contact the authorities. If you suspect you are a victim of fraud, contact your bank and the Police immediately. Develop good password habits; change them often and use unique ones that are hard to guess. Ensure the website address makes sense. Is the name in the address or is it someone/thing else. Consider a low-limit credit card to use for online purchases.
Visit the Competition Bureau for more information and prevention tips on the Competition Bureau fraud prevention page at: http://www.competitionbureau.gc.ca/eic/site/cb-bc.nsf/eng/02595.html
RCMP Fraud Campaign News releases, scams and fraud: http://www.rcmp-grc.gc.ca/scams-fraudes/index-eng.htm
Better Business Bureau’s Top 10 Scams: http://www.bbb.org/vancouver-island/news-centre/news-releases/2017/02/top-10-scams-2017/
Here is another easy to follow website that describes quite a few scams happening today: https://heimdalsecurity.com/blog/top-online-scams/