Many Canadians are being targeted by individuals claiming to offer reduced rates or deals for various services.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR
These scams typically involve individuals that make offers for telecommunications, Internet, finance, medical and energy services. This category of scams may also include offers such as extended warranties, insurance, and door-to-door sales.
The two most reported service scams targeting Canadians are the antivirus software scam and credit card interest rate reduction scams.
The scammers involved in the antivirus software scam promise to repair your computer over the Internet. This can involve the installation of software or permission to have remote access to your computer. Payment for the software or repair is typically made by credit card.
Downloading software from an unknown source or allowing someone to remotely access your computer is risky. Scammers could use malicious software to capture your personal information such as user names and passwords, bank account information, identity information, etc.
Everyone likes to get a deal and scammers know this. The people behind credit card interest rate reduction scams often impersonate financial institutions and claim to negotiate with credit card companies to lower your interest rates. They guarantee they can save you thousands of dollars in interest. The caller will tell you that the lower interest rates are for a limited time only and that you need to act now.
You might receive an automated call, prompting you to “press 1” and provide personal information, such as your date of birth and credit card number. You will also be asked to pay a fee up front for the service. The scammers will use this information to make purchases on your credit card or to access cash advances.
REMEMBER: Only your service provider can offer you a better rate or price for their services.
CAUTION: Be wary of unsolicited calls from people offering a great deal “for a limited time only”.
THINK: Don’t give out your credit card number over the phone unless you made the call and the number came from a trusted source.
INVESTIGATE: If a caller claims to represent your bank, telephone your bank to ask whether the offer you received is genuine.
ASK YOURSELF: By offering up this information, am I putting myself at risk?