Fraud threatens every Canadian, regardless of education, age or income. According to Federal Competition Bureau, Canadians lost an estimated $290 million to scams between January 2014 and December 2016—and a disproportionate number of the victims were new immigrants. The question, then, is how can you protect your hard-earned money?
“Scam artists continue to use both traditional, off-line techniques, such door-to-door sales or fake telephone calls, as well as online strategies,” explains Ron Mycholuk, a spokesman with the Better Business Bureau of Central and Northern Alberta. “Often these scam artists prey on fear and a lack of knowledge.” For instance, a new immigrant might not know that they have 10 days to cancel a contract they signed when they’re dealing with a high-pressure sales representative; or a fraudster could prey on a new immigrant’s fear by threatening to freeze their assets, call the police or cancel their Canadian visa.
“No matter what the offer or threat is, the key is not to react,” says Mycholuk. “Instead, check it out. Find out if there’s truth behind the claim.” For Mycholuk this means doing some research. “Knowledge and prevention are key.”
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