Don't Get Scammed!

By Peter Beens

The scammers are getting quite ingenious lately. There are many accounts of phone callers informing you that you will be arrested if you do not immediately pay Revenue Canada for tax arrears. The crazy thing is they want you to pay using gift cards or bitcoin. The sad thing is, many people (especially the elderly) fall for this.

If you get a phone call like this, just hang up and then block the number.

Here is another scam. This one is a text message supposedly from Bell, wanting to reimburse me for being overcharged. There are two telltale signs that this is a scam. 1, most written scams have spelling mistakes in them, although this one is pretty good. The telltale sign here is the trailing dollar sign, a good indication the message originated in a foreign country. And 2, the link given is an IP address, not a proper web address. This means the originator of the scam hasn’t even created a domain name, they are just trying to get me to access a webpage on a server somewhere where they attempt to get my credit card number, bank PIN, or other personal information they can use to scam me out of my money.

If you’re ever in doubt about a message you’ve received, just call the company involved to determine if it’s true. The company will likely tell you to ignore the message. If you’ve fallen victim to a scam like this, contact your bank right away and the RCMP Fraud Unit, via their website:

Let’s be careful out there!