Did you know that March is Fraud Prevention Month?

Every year, thousands of Canadians are defrauded. One of the most effective ways to prevent fraud is making sure that you’re equipped with the right knowledge to keep this from happening to you or to those around you. This March marks the tenth year of the nationwide campaign, and Grade A wants to help spread the word!

Fraudsters are really great at fooling people. They go to great lengths to get your money and your private information, and won’t stop at anything. Known to impersonate charities, government agencies and even suppliers, be aware that these people really are out there and are looking to take advantage of you.

Some of the most common scams include*:

  • Business supplies / directory scams
  • Cheque cashing / online classifieds / money transfer job scams
  • Fraudulent health products or cures
  • Prize lottery scams
  • Work-at-home job opportunity scams
  • Antivirus scams
  • Continuity and Premium text messaging scams

*Visit the Competition Bureau website for more information and prevention tips for all scams listed above.

As an IT services provider, we’re well aware of the “antivirus scam”. Some of you might be familiar with this scenario:

“You receive a phone call or an email from someone claiming to work for a software company, maybe even a company you recognize. You are asked if, or informed that, your computer is running slowly and an offer is made to fix it once you grant remote access or download software from a specific website. The vendor seeks to convince you to pay for the service and give your credit card information. The vendor also tries to persuade you to grant remote access to your computer.” – The Competition Bureau

The Competition Bureau explains that, “granting someone the ability to control your computer can open the door to the installation of malicious software capable of capturing sensitive data kept online, including banking and personal identity information. As well, giving the caller your credit card number could lead to charges for a bogus service and the possibility of future charges without your consent. Even just getting rid of the malware may lead to significant charges by a reputable technician”.

Experiencing problems with your computer? Consult a reputable company and avoid giving out your credit card number over the phone when possible. If you are one of the unlucky victims of the many scams out there, make sure to report your experience to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre through its website www.antifraudcentre.ca or by telephone at 1-888-495-8501 so you can stop fraudsters and prevent future scams.

Stay Safe!

Post by Emily Armstrong, Marketing Coordinator, Grade A

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