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Test your knowledge of fraud

1. Extortion scams

You receive an alarming call from someone who claims to be from a government agency. They say a recent audit of your account shows that you owe them money and that you must pay immediately. What do you do to verify this claim?

  1. You give the caller your contact information and tell them that you will not be sending any money until you receive a copy of the caller's identification card by email or fax.
  2. You hang up and call the official phone number of the government agency they claim to be from and inquire about the status of your account.
  3. You pay the amount claimed and insist that a detailed receipt or acknowledgement letter be sent to you afterwards.

Further reading

2. Romance scams

You met someone on an online dating site a few months ago. Although the two of you have developed a romantic attachment, you have not yet been able to meet. The person claims to be a soldier stationed overseas. You've messaged each other daily. They've sent you gifts and flowers. You believe they are sincere. One day, they inform you that their daughter has been involved in an accident and there is an urgent need for money to pay for home care services. They ask for your help. What should you do?

  1. Send money to help the daughter, given the urgency of the situation.
  2. Send half the money because you want to help, but you also want to protect some of your savings.
  3. Be suspicious. Do not send any money right away despite your desire to help.

Further reading

3. Purchase of merchandise scams

When shopping online, you want to avoid being charged for merchandise that never gets delivered to you. Amid many choices, what should you do to pick a trustworthy website?

  1. Shop around using various sites.
  2. Inspect the website thoroughly.
  3. Ask the supplier questions to ensure that the contact information they provide is valid.
  4. Research the reputation of the online business.
  5. Use a payment method that offers protection to customers.
  6. All of the above.

Further reading

4. Counterfeit products and fake reviews

You log on to your favourite social media website and notice a post from a business offering various brand name items at a bargain price. Several users have commented on the post, praising the authenticity and great prices of the usually expensive items being offered.

True or false: Given the fact that the advertisement is posted on a trusted social media site and endorsed by seemingly legitimate users, the website must be a great find.

  1. True
  2. False

Further reading

5. Overpayment scams

You've posted and sold an item on an online buy-and-sell site. The buyer sends you payment by cheque for a sum greater than the agreed-upon amount. When you advise them of their mistake, they instruct you to just return the difference through a well-known money transfer service. What should you do?

  1. Agree to the buyer's proposal—this seems like a reasonable request and the buyer has already provided you with their cheque.
  2. Refuse the cheque and consider reporting this to the authorities.
  3. Accept the cheque but give the buyer the difference in cash rather than through a money transfer.

6. Subscription traps

Three months ago, a friend of yours ordered a free sample of beauty products through an ad that popped up on social media. The free trial offer required your friend to only pay for shipping fees. Now, unexplained charges have appeared on their credit card statement. The charge appears again the following month.

Even though your friend received the promised product, they likely have been caught in a subscription trap. How can you prevent this from happening?

  1. Be wary of free trial offers.
  2. Research the company offering the product.
  3. Read the terms and conditions carefully.
  4. Check whether the order form has pre-checked boxes.
  5. All of the above.

Further reading

7. CEO scams

You receive an urgent email from your CEO requesting money to secure a major business deal. The message even uses the CEO's full name, so it looks legitimate. While it strikes you as an unusual request, time is of the essence and you don't want to let your boss down.

True or false: You should transfer the money, but only after replying to the email message.

  1. True
  2. False

Further reading

8. Door-to-door scams

A salesperson comes to your door asking to inspect your company's HVAC system. Having let them inside, they inform you that the unit will have to be replaced immediately to avoid damage to your residence. They indicate they have a repair crew that just happens to be in the neighbourhood today and can do this supposedly necessary work right away if you sign a release form now.

True or false: You should sign the form. It's best to avoid problems down the line.

  1. True
  2. False

Further reading

9. Health product scams

True or false: Websites that offer health products with claims of a scientific breakthrough and include complex technical information, success stories, and physician endorsements must surely deliver on their promises.

  1. True
  2. False

Further reading

10. Fake charities

While looking for recipes online, you notice an ad from the “Transnational Monetary Relief Foundation.” The ad is requesting a monetary donation to help victims of a recent earthquake, hurricane, or flood.” You naturally feel for the victims and want to help. What should you do?

  1. Send cash immediately.
  2. Collect money from all your friends so you can make a real impact.
  3. Find out more about the "Transnational Monetary Relief Foundation".
  4. Send the link to all your friends online.

Further reading

11. Phishing scams or identity theft

You receive an email from your bank. It says that the personal information in your profile has expired and needs to be confirmed to keep your account open. The email features a link to what looks just like your bank's website and asks you to use that link to provide your personal information, such as your date of birth, social insurance number, or credit card number.

What should you do?

  1. Reply to the email asking for more information.
  2. Click the link because you trust your bank to treat your information confidentially.
  3. Contact your financial institution immediately to report this suspicious activity.

Further reading

12. Who is typically targeted?

Who is typically vulnerable to becoming a targeted victim of fraud?

  1. Seniors
  2. Newcomers to Canada
  3. Women over the age of 50
  4. Everyone

Further reading

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