Tips for businesses: Don’t buy into fraud

March 18, 2015 — OTTAWA, ON — Competition Bureau

The Competition Bureau encourages businesses to join the fight against fraud by offering some simple tips that will not only help stop fraud, but will protect an organization’s bottom line.

Recognize It:

  • Closely examine any ads or offers, and ask questions about anything that's unclear.
  • Review all unsolicited offers with a critical eye, even if they seem to come from well-known companies.
  • If an offer comes in from a known company, look up its contact information, and contact the company to confirm whether it actually sent the offer.
  • Inform yourself about the product or service offered and don't be pressured to act immediately. Take time to do your research.
  • Read the fine print to understand what you’re agreeing to.
  • Always ask for a copy of an offer in writing.
  • Before paying, confirm that you actually agreed to purchase a product or service, and make sure you get what you ordered. Don't be bullied into paying for something by threats to damage your credit rating. Paying bills only when suppliers have a purchase order number from your company will help put an end to these billing scams.

Fraudsters are creative, so questioning the legitimacy of every inquiry—no matter how official it may appear to be—is a good policy to have in place.

Report It: It’s important to have trained and vigilant staff who are cautious and who know how to recognize and report suspected fraudulent activity. Resources are available for businesses that have been deceived or defrauded, or that encounter suspicious activity that may be fraudulent. Businesses can contact local law enforcement authorities as a first step. Reporting fraudulent activity helps agencies identify trends, monitor risks and take action.

Stop It: For more information about Fraud Prevention Month and other Bureau initiatives, such as the Canadian Edition of The Little Black Book of Scams, please visit the Bureau’s website at www.competitionbureau.gc.ca/fraud.

Related information

  • To report instances of fraud, contact the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at www.antifraudcentre.ca, or call 1-888-495-8501.
  • To report cases of unacceptable business practices, such as misleading representations and deceptive marketing, contact the Bureau at www.competitionbureau.gc.ca, or call 1-800-348-5358.

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The Competition Bureau, as an independent law enforcement agency, ensures that Canadian businesses and consumers prosper in a competitive and innovative marketplace.

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