CONSUMER FRAUD is committed by fraudsters who perpetrate scams by convincing consumers to send money for a
purpose that sounds legitimate but in reality is only a way to get the consumer to part with their hard-earned money.
ADVANCED FEE/PREPAYMENT SCAM
In this scam the victim sends money to the fraudster in advance of receiving a certain product or service such as a credit card,
loan or grant. After sending the money, the victim never receives the product or service they were told they would receive.
A fraudster contacts the victim claiming they are from a well-known computer or software company and a virus has been detected
on the victim’s computer. The fraudster advises the victim that the virus can be removed and the computer protected for a fee. In
reality, there was no virus, and the victim has just lost the money they sent for protection.
A fraudster pretending to be from a charity organization contacts the victim, asking for a donation. The fraudster may pose as a
representative of a well-known, legitimate charity organization or may invent their own. The fraudster may claim the donation is
being used to help victims of a recent current event, such as a disaster or emergency (flood, cyclone, earthquake, etc). Legitimate
charity organizations will never ask for donations to be sent to an individual through a money transfer service.
The fraudster will either make the victim believe they are someone the victim knows or they are acting on behalf of someone they
know who is in need of money for an urgent situation or emergency. A common type of Emergency Scam is the Grandparent
Scam, where a fraudster contacts a grandparent and impersonates either their grandchild or a person of authority and describes
an urgent situation or emergency involving that grandchild. No emergency has actually occurred and the victim who sent money
to help has now lost their money.
EMPLOYMENT/MYSTERY SHOPPING SCAM
The fraudster sends a cheque to the victim who believes they have accepted a job and explains that the cheque can be used for
up front expenses. This is also called the Mystery Shopping Scam, where the victim believes they are being hired to evaluate a
money transfer service. The fraudster tells the victim to deposit the cheque and use the money for these expenses related to the
job and then send the remaining funds back. When the cheque bounces, the victim is left responsible for the full amount.
FAKE CHEQUES SCAM
Fake cheques are used as part of many scams. Victims are often sent a cheque and told to deposit it and use the funds for
employment expenses, internet purchases, mystery shopping, etc. Fake cheques are also used for Overpayment Scams, where
a victim is sent a cheque for an amount that exceeds what they expect to receive as payment for a service or product, and the
fraudster tells the victim to send the excess back. The cheque is not valid, and the victim is left responsible.
A fraudster pretending to be a government official calls the victim saying there is a problem with the victim’s immigration record.
The fraudster demands immediate payment to fix any of the issues the victim may disclose. The fraudster may get angry and
threaten the victim with deportation if the payment is not made immediately.
INTERNET PURCHASE SCAM
The victim expresses interest about a product or service advertised online. The fraudster uses a number of tactics to help make the
sale appear legitimate, but the victim will never receive the item purchased after sending their money.
The fraudster calls the victim and tells the victim that money is owed for taxes and it must be paid immediately to avoid arrest,
deportation or suspension of license/passport. The victim is instructed to send money to pay the taxes.
The victim is informed through an unsolicited communication that they have won a large lottery, prize or sweepstakes and must
pay to cover taxes or fees to claim their winnings. The victim may receive a cheque for part of the “winnings” to deposit to pay for
the fees. The victim sends the money, the cheque bounces and the victim is responsible for the amount.
The fraudster creates a fake relationship with the victim who believes it’s real through a dating website or social media platform.
At some point the communication progresses and the fraudster requests money from the victim for a number of reasons such as
travel, medical, etc. In the end the fraudster is only attempting to gain funds and not a relationship.
RENTAL PROPERTY SCAM
The fraudster advertises a rental property and goes to great lengths to make the property look legitimate. Once the victim
expresses interest in the property, the fraudster asks the victim to send money for a deposit, to verify funds or for other legitimate
sounding reasons. The victim sends the money but ultimately loses their money, as the rental property is not legitimate.