With Fraud Prevention Month almost upon us, it may behoove advisors to warn their clients against the threat of fraud — and new data on the top scams affecting Canadians last year is a good place to start. Personal information scams — in which someone pretending to represent a business, government agency, bank, or utility company urgently asks victims to verify personal and confidential information — took the second spot with 7, reported cases. Phishing, where a scammer sends a malicious email that appears to be from a well-known company or institution, was in third place with 5, The CAFC also published figures on the top 10 frauds in Canada based on dollar losses suffered by victims. While romance scams took last place on the top 10 list of reported fraud types, they were the runner-up in terms of the monetary damage they inflicted. The dangers of romance scams were similarly underscored by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police last week. It also urged the public to be wary when asked for personal or financial information, as well as intimate photos or video that can be used for blackmail. It added that requests for help transferring and holding funds, which may be part of a larger fraud scheme, should be regarded with caution.
Only the lonely: romance scams cost Canadians millions
Investigative Correspondent Avery Haines started with the story of a Canadian woman whose online romance turned tragic. Colleen was a year-old woman living in British Columbia and, after leaving her long-term relationship, lost a lot of weight. She was feeling good about herself and started online dating.
Victim Support said people’s increased confidence in using the internet to meet and talk leaves them vulnerable. Research in one region shows.
Please see our Commenting Policy for more. They prey on emotions and insecurities, say all of the right things and sweep you off your feet. Then, when the timing is right, they begin asking for cash. About a decade ago, Michelle Boyer fell victim to a romance scam. She met a man online and was swept off of her feet.
He made grand plans to move her to the Sunshine State when all of a sudden he needed money, the reasons ranging from food to medical bills. It was only when her family started noticing inconsistencies in his story that Boyer realized she was being conned. This type of story is unfortunately common. Ed Sanchuk.
Online Romance Scams Cost Canadians Millions
Scammers are getting more and more creative when it comes to extorting information and money from residents of Saskatchewan. Gunson went on to say, country-wide, there were victims who reported romance fraud, but the romance scam presented the highest dollar loss in Saskatchewan compared to the high number of reported extortion scams. In some cases the suspect will even attempt to get the victim to commit fraud on their behalf, as a money mule accepting, then transferring money or goods often unknowingly.
Most romance scams begin via social media sites or online dating sites. Be wary when someone you meet on social media wants to quickly move to a private mode of communication email, text. If trying to set up an in-person meeting, be suspicious if they always have an excuse not to meet.
Romance scams have been particularly prevalent with the rise of online and through popular dating apps, scammers would gain the trust of.
All rights reserved. Fraudsters are putting a lot of effort into their romance scam. They aren’t always staying online. Some build that trust with their victim by meeting in person and even going to the extent of moving in with their victim. Once this trust is built, that’s when they ask for financial assistance. Dating and social media sites can provide an opportunity for people to meet someone amazing.
If you or someone you care about is going to venture into the world of online dating, understand the signs of a romance scammer:. Skip To Content. The internet sites identified by the victims were: BigChurch. Protect yourself: Dating and social media sites can provide an opportunity for people to meet someone amazing. If you or someone you care about is going to venture into the world of online dating, understand the signs of a romance scammer: They profile you and tell you everything you want to hear the read your profile and tell you they want the same things you’ve listed.
They want to move to a private mode of communication, off of the dating website, therefore gaining your personal email or phone number. They groom you for as long as it takes days, months, years to get your money by being very attentive, lavishing you with attention, compliments and tell you that they love you.
He stole their hearts. Then their money. Meet the women trying to catch him.
Over time, friendships grew. A number of women spread out across Canada got to know things about the men they met. The men — allegedly based out of Regina — provided their names, sent photos, talked about their children and their jobs. As weeks and months passed, the men shared more. They sent gifts, talked about visits and kept in daily contact. One woman even exchanged rings with the man she met online.
Please see our Commenting Policy for more. The Better Business Bureau says romance scams are on the rise, costing victims millions of dollars in Canada and the U. Romance scams often begin on social media and online dating sites and involve a fraudster gaining the trust and affection of a victim only to eventually steal their money and personal information. If you do end up falling victim to a romance scam and have shared financial information or sent money, the Canadian Anti-Fraud agency recommends reporting it to the financial institution you used, contacting police to file a report, and calling the Canadian Anti-fraud Centre and the BBB so it can be properly investigated.
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Fraudsters are using the COVID pandemic to scam singles looking for love and companionship online, say police. Social distancing and quarantines have made getting close to potential love interests difficult, making meeting people through dating websites and apps an attractive way to connect. Police are also warning people to be vigilant of multimedia scams which target people by text, phone call, the internet, media, and mail.
E-transfers were the most common method of taking money, followed by Bitcoin or blockchain, Google Play gift cards and cash.
Jessica Gunson, intelligence researcher with Canadian Anti-Fraud Most romance scams begin via social media sites or online dating sites.
According to the CAFC, the centre received 46, fraud reports in , with the highest number of reports related to extortion, totalling 10, recorded incidents. The top 10 most reported frauds that affected Canadians in are:. The top 10 frauds that affected Canadians in , based on dollar loss, are:. Personal information fraud is when a scammer acts as a business, government agency, bank, or utility company, and asks the victims to verify personal information.
Phishing fraud is conducted over email. The scammers will often send a message, pretending to be a known business, including banks and subscription services like Netflix, and encourage someone to update their account information. Spear phishing , by contrast, spoofs the email of a legitimate contact, including business executives and payroll contacts within a company.
Romance scams have been particularly prevalent with the rise of online dating. In these scenarios, the fraudster gains the trust of the victims through a virtual relationship in order to scam them out of money.
How to Spot the Signs of a Romance Scammer and Report Online Dating Scams
And then it started clicking in. But the CAFC also believes that only about five per cent of victims are filing reports. The person seems overly eager to meet you until something happens… and they suggest they need money from you. In , romance fraud was also the number 1 scam in Canada in terms of dollars lost, according to CAFC data, costing Canadians nearly double what wire and loan fraud did.
Recently released RCMP data paints an even fuller picture, showing that more than two-thirds of all Canadian romance scam victims were in Quebec and Ontario.
Ottawa (February 14, ) – On Valentine’s day, the RCMP brought to the attention of Canadians the danger of romance scams resulting from online.
His hard-knocks childhood and high-paying job were fake. But multiple Canadian women say what a prolific romance scammer took from them is very, very real—and they want vengeance. By Courtney Shea, Chatelaine January 17, They were hanging out, drinking wine. Having recently gotten out of a difficult marriage, she was in the process of moving on with her life—she had bought a new house and lost a bunch of weight.
The first guy she met was nice, if not exactly her dream man, and things petered out after a couple dates. She was sitting in her home office in West Kelowna, B. They met at Starbucks that afternoon and engaged in the typical first date chit-chat. She talked about her career, her dog. Andy told her that he was moving back home to Canada after having spent the last decade in Vietnam. He was an engineer on offshore oil rigs and had apparently done well for himself.
Now he wanted to slow down, do some travelling, enjoy this stage of life with someone who wanted the same things. He was figuring out where he wanted to settle down and buy a house, which is why he was in Kelowna. He told her his name was actually Andre; Jodi started calling him Dre.
Romance & Relationship Fraud
The RCMP is warning online daters to be vigilant for various red flags — such as requests for money — to prevent being duped. The bank slowed down on provisions for credit losses as payment deferral requests dropped. The fall season will be a “challenging” time for the economy, the CEO says.
Canada’s anti-fraud body reports most prevalent and harmful types of and through popular dating apps, scammers would gain the trust of.
Fraudsters continue to scam people into sending them money through romance scams. The people behind these types of scams can be very convincing, and it can be easy to mistake them for a legitimate love interest. Check out our top 5 red flags for romance scams and stay wise to the fraudsters behind them. Scammers have also been known to use social media for the same purpose. Here is what you should watch out for:.
The scammer might have a few glamorous pictures of themselves and may paint a picture of a glitzy lifestyle or career.