The Financial and Consumer Affairs Authority (FCAA) and the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre (CAFC) want to warn residents about common frauds and scams that are occurring in Saskatchewan.
“We are partnering with the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre because we have common concerns about frauds happening in the province,” Financial and Consumer Affairs Authority Director of Securities Dean Murrison said.
The most prominent frauds and scams in Saskatchewan by complaint are:
• Phishing – Any email falsely claiming to be an established legitimate organization such as a financial institution, business or government agency in an attempt to have the consumer give private and personal information.
• Service scam – Any false, deceptive or misleading promotion of or solicitation for services. These solicitations involve third parties that commonly make offers for telecommunications, and internet finance services.
• Prize scam – Any false, deceptive or misleading solicitation advising victims they have won or have a chance to win something, but are required to purchase something first or pay an advance fee, such as taxes, to receive the prize.
• Sale of fraudulent securities – Sale of investments that do not exist.
• Recovery scam – A victim who lost money in a previous scam, is approached by someone claiming to work for a government agency, private company or consumer organization and told that they can help recover the lost money for a fee.
• Extortion – Any person who unlawfully obtains money, property or services from a person, entity or institution, through coercion.
How to protect yourself:
• Be very cautious when speaking to people on the phone you do not know.
• If someone emails, texts or calls asking for personal or banking information, do not provide the information.
• Never wire money to a stranger.
• Never make a cheque payable to a financial advisor personally or to a financial advisor’s personal company, it should only be payable to the registered dealer or issuer of the securities.
• If someone contacts you about an investment opportunity, contact a professional adviser.
• If you are investing money, check and make sure the person you are sending money to is a registered professional (http://aretheyregistered.ca/) with the Canadian Securities Administrators.
Who to contact:
If you suspect that you may be the target of a scam or fraud, you can contact the Anti-Fraud Centre toll free at 1-888-495-8501 or online at www.antifraudcentre.ca.
If you suspect you may have been a target of investment fraud, contact FCAA’s Securities Division at 306-787-5645.
For more information about investment fraud visit http://fcaa.gov.sk.ca/consumers-investors-pension-plan-members/investors/investment-fraud.
CAFC is the central agency in Canada that collects information and criminal intelligence on such matters as mass marketing fraud (e.g., telemarketing), advance fee fraud (e.g., West African letters), Internet fraud and identification theft complaints.