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Browse Scams

Protect Yourself

*All Information Below is Provided by the Government of Canada

Don't be afraid to say no

Don't be intimidated by high-pressure sales tactics. If a telemarketer tries to get you to buy something or to send them money right away:

  • Request the information in writing

  • Hang up

Watch out for urgent pleas that play on your emotions.

Do your research

Always verify that the organization you're dealing with is legitimate before you take any other action:

  • Verify Canadian charities with the Canada Revenue Agency

  • Verify collection agencies with the appropriate provincial agency

  • Look online for contact information for the company that supposedly called you, and call them to confirm

  • Verify any calls with your credit card company by calling the phone number on the back of your credit card

If you've received a call or other contact from a family member in trouble, talk to other family members to confirm the situation.

Watch out for fake or deceptive ads, or spoofed emails. Always verify the company and its services are real before you contact them.

Don't give out personal information

Beware of unsolicited calls where the caller asks you for personal information, such as:

  • Your name

  • Your address

  • Your birthdate

  • Your Social Insurance Number (SIN)

  • Your credit card or banking information

If you didn't initiate the call, you don't know who you're talking to.

Know how to protect your Social Insurance Number (SIN).

Know what to expect if the real Canada Revenue Agency contacts you.

Beware of upfront fees

Many scams request you to pay fees in advance of receiving goods, services, or a prize. It's illegal for a company to ask you to pay a fee upfront before they'll give you a loan.

There are no prize fees or taxes in Canada. If you won it, it's free.

Protect your computer

Watch out for urgent-looking messages that pop up while you're browsing online. Don't click on them or call the number they provide.

No legitimate company will call and claim your computer is infected with a virus.

Some websites, such as music, game, movie, and adult sites, may try to install viruses or malware without your knowledge. Watch out for emails with spelling and formatting errors, and be wary of clicking on any attachments or links. They may contain viruses or spyware.

Make sure you have anti-virus software installed and keep your operating system up to date.

Never give anyone remote access to your computer. If you are having problems with your system, bring it to a local technician.

Be careful who you share images with

Carefully consider who you're sharing explicit videos and photographs with. Don't perform any explicit acts online.

Disable your webcam or any other camera connected to the internet when you aren't using it. Hackers can get remote access and record you.

Protect your online accounts

By taking the following steps, you can better protect your online accounts from fraud and data breaches:

  • Create a strong password by:

    • Using a minimum of 8 characters including upper and lower case letters, and at least 1 number and a symbol

    • Creating unique passwords for every online account including social networks, emails, financial and other accounts

    • Using a combination of passphrases that are easy for you to remember but hard for others to guess

  • Enable multi-factor authentication

  • Only log into your accounts from trusted sources

  • Don't reveal personal information over social media

 
 
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Reporting Fraud

Scams and cybercrimes can happen to anyone, anywhere, at any time.

If you or somebody you know has been a victim of a scam, fraud or cybercrime, please contact your local police as soon as possible.

 
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What to do if You're a Victim