Whether it be phone scams or identity theft, March’s Fraud Prevention Month is shining a spotlight on scams to help residents recognize and report them when they happen.
Lloydminster RCMP Constable Grant Kirzinger says that there are quite a few different types of frauds that happen inside the City.
“Everything from the email and fishing scams to telephone, CRA [Canada Revenue Agency] scams where people are trying to get your money. All the way up to people trying to forge documents, signatures and make false cheques .”
According to Service Alberta one of the most common types of fraud is home renovations, where unlicensed, pre-paid contractors use online advertising to mislead people about services that don’t exist.
Kirzinger says that the common indicators of scams usually include providing personal information without any verification. He adds that if something sounds too good to be true it usually is.
“If somebody doesn’t have information and they are claiming to be an organization they don’t know things about you and require you to provide all the information that’s definitely a red flag.”
The Alberta Government has new consumer protection laws that include banning door-to-door sales. However, if you have been caught up in scams where money is lost, Kirzinger says to stop with any further payments and alert the authorities.
He adds that the best way to prevent fraud is to know the current state of your bank accounts and to not provide personal information to anyone over the phone.