Here are common Internet Scams. They can also happen in other ways (such as over the Phone).
Romance or Catfishing
- They get in some kind of trouble and need you to send them money. Often this happens more than once
- Their photo looks like it may be a stock photo
- They don’t live in the same country as you
Advance Fee for a Prize
How it Happens: This can happen if you visit an adult-themed website. If the website has malware (malicious software) on it, it is possible a scammer can access your computer and all the information (such as passwords and account information) stored on your computer as well. At times, they can even access the camera on your computer to record you while you are on your computer. The scammer then uses the fact they have access to your images and passwords to extort money from you in exchange for them.The best way to avoid malware or viruses from getting on your computer is to install anti-malware or anti-virus software on your computer. It is also common to receive an email stating that someone knows you visited a porn site and used your camera to capture you watching it. Money is requested or else the video will be turned over to your family and friends. This email is often a scam and should be deleted immediately.
Account Information Update
Online Shopping / Selling
- Become familiar with the website you are using. Their contact information should be easily available and include: the business name, address, phone number and email address. It is better to deal with businesses that are located in Ontario, when possible.
- Read customer reviews of the product and the company before you purchase the item.
- Print or save all receipts, invoices and agreements related to your purchase.
- Before you buy, be sure you know the full cost, including taxes, shipping, handling and duties.
- When you enter your credit card information online, be sure it is on a protected server. For more information on how to tell if a website is secure, see below.
- Do not use public WiFi, such as at the Public Library or at a coffee shop, to buy online as these networks are not secure.
- Never enter your credit card information in a pop up message that comes on your screen. Real businesses do not do transactions this way.
If you are feeling pressured to join an investment opportunity at a business meeting, it is likely a scam. Remember pressure and threats are a common factor in scams.
Do your homework, check with the Ontario Securities Commission to find out about your Investment advisor.
Be cautious if you are being asked to wire a large amount of money to another country.
If the opportunity sounds too good to be true with a higher return than normal it is likely a scam.