The Better Business Bureau is sending out an important warning that needs to be heard by all Canadians: Business scams are happening now! According to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre, Canadians lost $70 million to scams just last year alone! However, that staggering amount is actually an increase from 2013, when $53 million was lost, in large part, due to online fraudsters, the Better Business Bureau reported last week. It’s important to educate yourself on the following top 3 business scams currently taking place and to avoid them at all costs.
Business Scam #3—Identity Theft
Because more than 90 percent of the Canadian population is online, identity theft is a major concern that can ultimately result in dire consequences. Most notably, thieves have been pretending to be a part of the Microsoft team with the fabrication that the victim’s computer has a virus and is sending out messages. The business scam often goes one of two ways: the victim will purchase a computer program that they don’t need, or worse, banking information and passwords will be stolen.
Business Scam #2—Emotional Scam
After the threat of Ebola became so prominent last year, more than 100 “fake” Ebola charity sites have appeared online. This is a disease that thieves have been known to hide behind, with this particular emotional scam portraying fake emails or websites asking to donate money to those who have been affected by the illness. Remember: Only donate money to charities that you are familiar with and can fully trust.
RELATED TOPIC: PC Tools Tips on Avoiding Online Scams
Business Scam #1—Auto Scam
When purchasing a used car in British Columbia, remember this piece of advice: All sales are final. Therefore, you will not be given the opportunity to receive a refund if you later change your mind about the deal. Auto scams have become quite popular, with the main goal being to get cash before the vehicle is properly checked. A range of issues could occur, such as: the automobile’s accident history could be fake; the true mileage of the car could be off; or worse, there could actually be no vehicle in question. In order to protect yourself from this business scam, ask for a full vehicle history report or only consider purchasing an automobile from a licensed dealer.
Stay Safe with Smart Decisions
Though tricky, business scams can often be avoided by making smart, calculated decisions. If you don’t feel 100 percent comfortable making a deal, whether that deal be identity, emotional, or auto related, then simply don’t make it. Though the top 3 business scams have been outlined above, there are still plenty of other cons to be leery of—stay safe!