Many Canadians are being targeted by individuals claiming to offer reduced rates or deals for various services. 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 often involves installation of software or giving remote access to your computer, with payment for the service made by credit card. Scammers use malicious software to capture your personal information such as your passwords, banking information, and more.
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.
Or, 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. The scammers will use this information to make purchases on your credit card or to access cash advances.
How to protect yourself
If you see fraud, report it. Here's how to protect others:
Source: Competition Bureau: Little Black Book of Scams, 1st Edition, 2012
Remember, only your service provider can offer you a better rate or price for their services.
Be wary of unsolicited calls from people offering a great deal “for a limited time only”.
Don’t give out your credit card number over the phone, unless you made the call and the number came from a trusted source.
If you receive a phone call from someone you do not know, always ask for the name of the person you are speaking to and who they represent. Verify this information by calling the company yourself.