The entire month of March is designated Fraud Prevention Month in over 24 countries around the world, including here in Canada and the United States. In Canada alone, fraud has become a billion dollar industry for white collar criminals. Fraud is a criminal offence punishable under the Criminal Code of Canada, so long as the suspects can be caught, which is often difficult to do.
The goal of Fraud Prevention Month is to raise awareness about different fraudulent schemes and remind people to protect themselves and their personal information. By increasing awareness about fraud and educating people on various scams, they are better enabled to protect themselves and reduce risks associated with certain types of fraud including:
From emails saying you won an international lottery and need to pay a processing fee or provide your bank account information, to ones that look like they came from your own financial institution, there is a wide array of phishing scams that end up in your email inbox. Never open these emails and delete them. If you do open them by mistake, never click on the links in the email message as the links could contain malware or viruses.
The Hovering Individual
This person likes to stay close and peer over your shoulder in coffee shops in hopes of getting user names and passwords to websites. They will also stand rather close in checkout lines to try to get your PIN number, with hopes of pickpocketing your wallet from your rear pocket later.
The Transfer Money Help Letter
This scam asks you to pay the fees to help transfer a large sum of money out of an African country, most often Nigeria, and in return for helping the person, they will give you a portion of their money once it is safely out of the country.
Processing Payments Work-at-Home Job
Another scam, this one asks you to process payments for what appears to be a reputable business operation. You might be instructed to open a bank account or use your own personal account to process the payments. In return, you earn an attractive commission based upon the dollar value of the amount of payments you processed. What you are actually doing is helping someone else commit fraud.
You get a phone call or email thanking you for your previous donations to a charitable organization and are asked to make another donation to the organization. Many of these look like they came from reputable and actual nonprofit agencies, but are actually scams.
As you can see there is a wide array of different fraudulent scams out there with no signs of stopping. Just remember to be cautious and take steps to protect your personal information at all times.
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