#romancescams | Be merry this season by avoiding holiday scams: OPP

The spirit of the holidays is a time of giving for most but, for scammers, it is a time of taking, said a press release from the OPP.

The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre highlights the most popular holiday scams so that you can “recognize, reject, report and be merry.”

Counterfeit merchandise: Look out for huge and flashy discount ads that direct you to websites that look like the legitimate manufacturer’s. If you do receive any inferior product, they could pose significant health risks.

Selling goods and services online: Be suspicious of payment offers that are more than the asking price and confirm that you have received a legitimate payment before you send the product.

Fake charities: The end of the year is a busy season for charities looking for donations. Confirm the charity is registered with Canada Revenue Agency before providing any personal or financial information. You can search the list of charities here.

Romance scams: An attractive fake identity lures you into their web of lies spun with loving messages and sweet promises. The fraudsters play on your emotions to maximize their payday over time.

Online shopping: Fraudsters pose as genuine sellers and post fake ads for items that do not exist. The listing price for almost any item (e.g. event ticket, rental, vehicle, puppy) is usually too good to be true. Research before you buy. Whenever possible, exchange goods in person or use your credit card for payment.

Phishing emails and texts: You may receive messages claiming to be from a recognizable source (e.g. financial institution, telecommunications company, service provider, shipping company) asking you to submit or confirm your information. They may even include a malicious link.


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