The Competition Bureau of Canada has published the The Little Black Book of Scams 2nd Edition and it is available online at https://www.competitionbureau.gc.ca/eic/site/cb-bc.nsf/eng/04333.htm. The information is invaluable and should be of interest to virtually everyone. Over the next few months we will be publishing the information from the The Little Black Book of Scams 2nd Edition, one scam at a time. Last week we published Health and Medical Scams. Today the topic is:
Who is really behind the keyboard?
Keep your guard up and look out for potential scammers who will try to lower your defences by appealing to your romantic and compassionate side. They can prey on you on popular dating sites as well as on fake ones.
On a real dating site, a scammer might send you a few messages and a good-looking photo of themselves, or of someone they claim to be. Once you are charmed, they will start asking your to send money. They may claim to have a very sick family member or a desperate situation with which they need your help. Once you give them the money, they often disappear. (My note; Or others have been known to continue to ask for money, each time for a specific situation, and knowing that even should you begin to question their honesty will often not seek help due to embarrassment for getting hooked. People have lost their life savings to these particularly heinous fraudsters.)
A fraudster can also create a fake dating site where you pay for each message you send and receive. To keep your writing back and paying, the scammer may hook you in with vague emails about their love and desire for you.
In many cases, the scammer may even arrange to meet up with you in person to make their fraud seem more credible.
Tips to protect yourself:
- Never send money or give financial details on a dating site.
- Trust your instincts, ask questions and carefully read the terms and conditions before signing up.
- Know which services are free, which ones cost money and what it takes to cancel your account.
- Make sure you use only legitimate and reputable dating sites. Always check website addresses carefully as scammers often mimic real web addresses.
- Remember it is unlikely that someone will declare their undying love to anyone after only a few letters, emails, phone calls or pictures.
If you suspect a scam, always report it
The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre, managed by the RCMP, the Competition Bureau and the Ontario Provincial Police, has plenty of information on fraud. Power up today by visiting www.antifraudcentre.ca!
Additional organizations to contact depending on the situation:
Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre 1-888-495-8501 www.antifraudcentre.ca
Competition Bureau 1-800-348-5358 www.competitionbureau.gc.ca
Consumer Affairs www.consumerhandbook.ca
Securities Administrator www.securities-administrators.ca
Ontario Provincial Police 1-888-310-1122
Information provided by Wawa and Area Victim Services
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