Spring is in the air, and unfortunately so are the scams that come with that.
RCMP say this is when they start to hear more victims of phone, email and online frauds.
One of the most common is the Canada Revenue Agency Scam where a person is called and told they owe thousands of dollars to the tax man, and are threatened with jail if they don’t provide the money.
Police say the tax agency only uses registered mail to contact clients, not email or the phone.
The so called Emergency Scam is still one of the most common, where a con artist usually calls a grandparent, pretending to be a relative in trouble and needing cash to be wired to them.
Mounties say the best advice is no matter who you think is calling, never give out personal information over the phone.
The Prize Scam is still one of the most common where a person is informed about winning a large lottery or sweepstakes, but first they have to pay a fee up front to receive their winnings.
“In all cases, despite giving the con-artists the fee they demand, victims never see a cent of the supposed winnings,” says Cst. Jocelyn Noseworthy.
Police remind people that if it seems to good to be true — it probably is.
Other advice includes to use your common sense.
If someone contacts you allegedly from a company, hang up and contact the company yourself to verify the information, and when in doubt discuss it with a friend. Never rush into a decision because someone is pressuring you.
What should you do if you become a victim on a scam?
Gather all the information about the fraud. This includes anything written down, and receipts/bills.
Report the incident to your local police.
Contact the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.
If the fraud involves a bank or company, notify them.
If it was an online fraud, notify the website of the incident.
If you are the victim of identity fraud, you should place flags on all your accounts and report to both credit bureaus (Equifax and Transunion).