Scams that target Canadian consumers — Knowledge is power

Knowledge is power

The number of fraud schemes created by scammers hoping to part you from your money is endless.

To protect yourself from fraud and avoid the costs of being scammed, you need to know how these scams work.

Psychological manipulation: It can work on anyone

Scammers target everyone. It doesn’t matter how old you are, how much education you have, your income level, or any other aspect of your personal background. Fraudsters are very good at manipulating people to get what they want, such as getting you to reveal personal information or convincing you to give them money. They do this by using tactics that take advantage of normal human tendencies and feelings. For example, scammers will imply that you should:

  • return a favour
  • do what others are doing
  • obey an authority figure
  • want something because it is scarce
  • honour a prior commitment
  • trust someone because they seem likable
  • act fast because it’s urgent or a time-sensitive offer

The best way to avoid becoming a victim of fraud is to be informed and vigilant. Take a moment to think before parting with your money or information. Re-read the details of the offer and the fine prints, consult a trusted person or sleep on it. Get to know the different types of scams and always report instances of fraud.

Further reading