Scams targeting mobile phone users and vulnerable people
Scam alert. (Gerd Altmann, Pixabay.com)
Heads up for affected customers from last week’s phone outages, there are related scam emails and texts that have been going out.
On Wednesday Ontario Provincial Police sent out a tweet alerting residents who may have suffered from last week’s communications service outage of fraudulent emails and texts claiming to give compensation by clicking a link.
Police say personal info is then requested, and stress that this is a scam and the real company is crediting customers automatically with no action needed.
Earlier this week, the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre (CAFC) released a bulletin warning residents of an increase in loan scams.
Officials said as many Canadians experience financial hardship because of the pandemic, some are turning to loans, and some of those loan sites are fronts for scams.
CAFC said, unfortunately, the reporting of fraudulent loan websites is increasing with sites now designed to look like legitimate lending institutions.
Their fraudulent loan applications are used to collect your personal information and can result in identity theft and fraud.
Once quickly approved, CAFC said the fraudsters will request a fee to secure the loan and the victim never receives any money.
Here are some warning signs and tips on how to protect yourself;
- In most provinces, it is illegal for a company to request an up front fee before you receive your loan. You should never send money first.
- Beware of companies that offer guaranteed loans; even if you have bad credit or no credit.
- Beware of instant approvals.
- Do your research before you provide your personal information.
- Contact your provincial consumer protection agency and/or financial regulator to confirm that a company is a legitimate lender.
- End all contact if the company requests payment by email money transfer, money service businesses or prepaid credit cards.