PhoneBusters was created in early
1993 and has played a key role in educating the public about specific fraudulent telemarketing pitches. PhoneBusters collects information on telemarketing, advanced fee fraud letters and identity theft complaints.
The information is then given to appropriate law enforcement agencies.
Millions of dollars are lost from thousands of victims each year across Canada. There are many known scams and with new ones being created everyday it is important to have the knowledge to avoid being a victim of one.
How Can I recognize a Scam?
It sounds too good to be true.
You?ve won a big prize in a contest that you don?t recall entering.
You?re offered a once-in-a-lifetime investment that offers a huge return.
You?re told that you can buy into a lottery ticket pool that cannot lose.
You must pay or you can?t play.
?You?re a winner!? but you must agree to send money to the caller in order to pay for delivery, processing, taxes, duties or some other fee in order to receive your prize. Sometimes the caller will even send a courier to pick up your money.
You must give them your private financial information The caller asks for all your confidential banking and/or credit card information. Honest businesses do not require these details unless you are using that specific method of payment.
It?s the manager calling?
The person calling claims to be a government official, tax officer, banking official, lawyer or some other person in authority. The person calls you by your first name and asks you a lot of personal or lifestyle questions (like how often do your grown children visit you).
The stranger calling wants to become your best friend Criminals love finding out if you?re lonely and willing to talk. Once they know that, they?ll try to convince you that they are your friend – after all, we don?t normally suspect our friends of being crooks.
It?s a limited opportunity and you?re going to miss out If you are pressured to make a big purchase decision immediately, it?s probably not a legitimate deal. Real businesses or charities will give you a chance to check them out or think about it.
What can I do to protect myself?Criminals will say anything to part you from your hard-earned money. Be cautious. You have the right to check out any caller by requesting written information, a call back number, references and time to think over the offer.
Legitimate business people will be happy to provide you with that information. After all, they want the ?bad guys? out of business too.
Always be careful about providing confidential personal information, especially banking or credit card details, unless you are certain the company is legitimate. And, if you have doubts about a caller, your best defense is to simply hang up. It?s not rude – it?s smart. If you?re in doubt, it?s wise to ask the advice of a close friend or relative, or even your banker. Rely on people you can trust. Remember, you can Stop Phone Fraud – Just Hang Up!
It?s not always easy to spot phone scams, and new ones are invented every day. If you suspect that you may be a target of fraud, or if you have already sent funds, don?t be embarrassed – you?re not alone.
If you want to report a fraud, or if you need more information, contact
Toll Free: 1-888-495-8501
Fax: (705) 494-4755
Visit www.phonebusters.com for more information.
Cst. E.R. (Erik) WEDHOLM
Tumbler Ridge RCMP