Home - THE VANCOUVER POLICE DEPARTMENT Home - THE VANCOUVER POLICE DEPARTMENT | Beyond the Call
-

Protecting yourself from online fraud

Fraudsters are using more and more elaborate and convincing tactics today that fool even the most skeptical consumers. They take advantage of people's trusting natures, which is even easier to do online.

#NANAsays is a new campaign aimed at raising awareness of online fraud with millennials. The traditional assumption that seniors are most often victimized doesn't hold true. The generation that grew up with the internet has become the largest group of people defrauded online.

The campaign plays on the unexpected, with fraud-aware Nana texting advice to her millennial grandchild.

It's important to stay aware of the types of scams taking place, and to stay as vigilant online as you do in the real world.

These are the five main types of online fraud:


Online Sale of Goods

Example: You got an incredible deal on tickets to a concert, only to find out that they were fake when you arrived at the venue.

Protect yourself:

  • Ask the seller to meet you in your local police station to complete the sale.
  • Only purchase event tickets from official re-sellers.
  • Remember that if it sounds too good to be true, it is.

I’m a victim – now what?

  • Screenshot the ad before it disappears and keep any emails or messages regarding the tickets or goods you received.
  • Report it to your local police and the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.
 


Online Residential Fraud

 

Example: You pay your damage deposit, but when you arrive to move it, you find the apartment is occupied and not available for rent.

Protect yourself:

  • Do not send money to anyone you have not met in person and/or for any property you have not seen in person.
  • Visit the property and ask the occupant to confirm it is for rent.
  • Ask for identification from anyone showing the property and, if possible, write down their licence plate if they arrive by car.
  • Search for owner information in the Land Titles office to confirm you are dealing with the owner.
  • Research the address online to ensure it is not a short-term rental.

I’m a victim – now what?

  • Screenshot the ad before it disappears and keep any emails or messages regarding the tickets or goods you received.
  • Report it to your local police and the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.


Online Job Opportunity Fraud

Example: You've got a new job and all you have to do is deposit cheques in your bank account and forward the combined amount in a cheque from you to your new boss - minus your pay, of course. A few days later, you find out the cheques were fraudulent and you are out the money you sent to your boss.

Protect yourself:

  • Do not accept any unsolicited job offer or any “work from home” jobs that involved collecting debts or payments, or otherwise using your bank account to receive cheques.
  • If someone contacts you from a company you’ve never heard of, do an online search and check their standing with the Better Business Bureau.
  • If it sounds too good to be true, it is.

I’m a victim – now what?

  • Screenshot the ad before it disappears and keep any emails or messages regarding the tickets or goods you received.
  • Report it to your local police and the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.
 


Phishing Texts and Emails

 

Example: The email from your bank looks professional enough. They are asking you to confirm your address, credit card number, and/or pin number. Sometimes you just have to click on a link to update or confirm your information.

Protect yourself:

  • Your bank, credit union or credit card company will never contact you by phone, email or text and ask you for personal information, or to confirm your personal information.
  • Never give your name, date of birth, address, account numbers, or passwords to anyone you don’t know via phone, email or text.
  • Be cautious about opening attachments or clicking on links in unsolicited texts and email.
  • Keep your computer security up to date.

I’m a victim – now what?

  • If you receive an unsolicited communication and did not respond, advise your financial institution of the attempt.
  • If you provided information and then realized you shouldn’t have, change your password on the affected account immediately. Notify Equifax and TransUnion to a watch can be placed on your credit.

 

Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) Scam

Example: You receive a phone call from someone stating they are from the Canada Revenue Agency or a police officer. You are informed that you owe money on your taxes and that if you do not pay immediately, you are going to be arrested. Often, you are asked to make payment via iTunes or other gift cards.

Protect yourself:

  • The CRA will not contact you by phone, text, or email and threaten arrest or to send the police.
  • You cannot pay your taxes or “fines” by gift cards or by Bitcoin.
  • Don’t trust your caller ID – scammers can fake the phone number they’re calling from.
  • Get more tips from the Canada Revenue Agency.

I’m a victim – now what?

  • Screenshot the ad before it disappears and keep any emails or messages regarding the tickets or goods you received.
  • Report it to your local police and to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.
 

Listen to NANA. She’s right about the vegetables, too.

Listen to what #NANAsays

If #NANAsays it’s a scam, she’s right.

Millennials, aged 19 to 35, are scammed more online than any other age group.

Listen to what #NANAsays. She’s right about the vegetables, too.

More information

See stats and other information about millennials and online fraud.

More tips

Find more tips on preventing cybercrime and online identity theft.

Vancouver Police Foundation

This campaign was made possible by the Vancouver Police Foundation.

Vancouver Police Foundation

-