BBB Announces National Top 10 Scams Of 2016
According to the Better Business Bureau (BBB) announcement, Canadians lost more than 90 million dollars to scammers in 2016—a 50% increase over the previous year. It’s very important to be careful when you commit to spending large sums of money. In addition to the most common scams on the BBB list, door-to-door HVAC scams have become more and more prominent in Ontario in recent years. There are hundreds of different ways people try to con money from Canadians, but be on the lookout for these scams that topped the list last year in popularity:
- Employment Scams: People are offered jobs that are too good to be true and usually involve depositing a cheque before starting work.
- Online Dating Scams: Long-term con where fraudsters pose as an online romantic love interest and ask for money, often for an emergency.
- Identity Fraud: A person steals your personal information to open credit cards in your name.
- Advance Fee Loans: Companies ask for a small processing fee prior to releasing a large loan.
- Online Purchase Scams: Companies impersonate known brands online and sell counterfeit goods to unsuspecting consumers
- Wire Fraud – Spear-phishing: In a business setting, a fraudster spoofs an email of a known associate and asks for an online money transfer.
- Binary Option Scams: Online gambling disguised as legitimate and risk-free investments.
- Fake Lottery Winnings: Scammer claims you have won a large prize in a lottery, but need to pay a processing fee to claim your winnings.
- Canada Revenue Agency Scams: Scammers calling claiming to be CRA agents and demand back taxes in the form of iTunes gift cards.
- Fake Online Endorsements: Companies that allege a certain star or celebrity endorses their product when there is no official endorsement.
In terms of HVAC scams, remember that door-to-door salespeople will try to convince you to let them “inspect” your furnace and/or air-conditioner to see if you qualify for a rebate or to ensure its safety. If someone comes to your home asking about your heating and cooling system, never let them inside. Report them to the police and the BBB and then call your own HVAC company if you have any concerns.