Protect Yourself from Fraud

In the fight against online scams, it is important to stay informed about the various forms of fraud so that you are prepared to recognize and deal with them.

Below are the most common types of scams you may encounter:

1. Internet Purchase scam

Victims could be the buyer or a seller of items (e.g. pets, cars) or services advertised online through eBay, Alibaba, etc. Scammers pretending to be legitimate online sellers, either with a fake website or a fake ad on a genuine site advertising an item at a low price. They ask you to pay using a money order, pre-loaded money card or money transfer, after the money is sent, the victim never receives the merchandise or service. Scammers also pretend to be legitimate buyers by sending more than the selling price, and asks the seller to wire the difference back to them via a money transfer.

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2. Relationship scam

Victim is led to believe that they have a personal relationship with someone they met online often by social media, in an online forum or on a dating website. The victim is often emotionally invested, and the fraudster requests money for a number of reasons such as to visit the victim, an emergency, gifts or they even request information about the victim’s bank account or cards.

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3. A Family member that is in danger

The victim is contacted by an individual pretending to be a grandchild in distress, or a person of authority such as a medical professional, law enforcement officer, or attorney. The fraudster describes an urgent situation or emergency (bail, medical expenses, emergency travel funds) involving the grandchild or a loved person, friend that requires a money transfer to be sent immediately.
No emergency has occurred, and the victim who sent money to help their «grandchild» has lost their money.

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Other types of scams that should concern you:

4. Phishing

Communication impersonating a bank, intended to mislead the victim into providing personal information or passwords. A Phish is a fraudulent attempt, usually made through email (although can also be made via phone or text), to steal your personal information or propagate malicious code or software onto your computer.

5. Rental Property scam

Victim sends money for deposit on a rental property and never receives access to the rental property or the victim may also be the property owner who is sent a check from the renter and asked to send a portion of the check back using a money transfer and the check bounces.

It is important to feel and stay safe when you are browsing online. Don’t miss the signs and stay protected!

Be informed. Be aware. Protect yourself from fraud.

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