The Government of Saskatchewan released a warning to residents earlier this week, saying the Financial and Consumer Affairs Authority, along with the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre, is warning residents of a number of scams making their way across the province.
One of those scams is a phishing scam, where people pose as representatives from real organizations, such as financial institutions, and attempt to get a consumer's private information.
Karen Smith is the CEO of the Better Business Bureau of Saskatchewan. She said individuals and small businesses are being targeted. "What we see in Saskatchewan happening specifically in Saskatchewan right now is online purchasing scams. That's number one. They can be accomplished through phishing techniques. They're just wanting to either get money or collect information for identity theft."
According to the Provincial Government, the most prominent frauds and scams in Saskatchewan 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 with the Canadian Securities Administrators.