ICYMI: The top scams of 2023 and how to avoid them

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Fraud is a huge issue across Canada and the trend appears to be worsening as we look ahead to 2024.

Investment scams alone cost Canadians $161.4 million over the first six months of 2023, according to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.

Scams on the rise

It’s not just your typical email phishing scams. Today consumers need to watch out for fraudulent links in online ads, text messages and social media.

You may also receive direct phone calls from fraudulent cryptocurrency companies or service providers, with “spoofed” caller ID details offering the impression the call is coming from a legitimate agency.

Knowing that once you fall victim to scammers your money is likely gone for good, an ounce of prevention is your best defence.

Back in October, during Cybersecurity Awareness Month, we told you about the most prevalent attacks and how to avoid becoming the next victim.

In addition to investment scams, targeted phishing attacks, known as spear phishing, service scams (including fake ticket scams), romance scams and emergency scams are among the most prevalent schemes draining Canadians’ bank accounts.

QR code fraud

Also in October, the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre issued a warning to consumers about fraudulent QR codes. While they’ve become ubiquitous in our post-COVID world, QR codes can be used by scammers to redirect payments and defraud sellers posting goods for sale online. They can also be used to steal your personal information.

Gift card fraud

While your holiday shopping might be done for the year, keep in mind that gift card fraud remains an issue to watch out for. This scam was first highlighted in the Guelph area in late 2022, but remains an issue for today’s shoppers. Before you buy, find out how to tell if your gift card has been tampered with by reading this informative article.

This article was originally sourced from www.toronto.com