Scams can target anyone anywhere, but they are more concerning when reports give us figures that expose the true prevalence of it close to home. The Better Business Bureau’s latest list of the top 10 scams in Canada revealed that we’ve lost more than $90 to the top 10 scams of 2016.
While fraud is nothing new, the fact that a lot of people still fall for popular ones and lose money as a result is alarming. This can indicate that there could be a rise in scam and con artists, they are getting more aggressive, or that people are not properly educated about avoiding scams and fraud.
The scams listed by the Better Business Bureau ranged from online dating ones, to fake employment and misleading reviews. Given the indirect relationship between the types of scams that made it to BBB’s top 10 Scams List for 2016, we can deduce that scammers have invaded nearly every area that they can make a quick dollar in.
A Ray of Sunshine?
The figure of $90M lost to scam in 2016 is 50% more than what was lost in 2015, a figure that is causing a lot of people concern. Things aren’t all bad news though, according to BBB. They shared that a raid on a call center in India that was involved in Canada Revenue Agency Scam (the number one scam in 2015’s list) was able to dramatically reduce the victims of the said scam for 2016. Unfortunately, it has not been totally eradicated.
Note the top 10 Scams of 2016
BBB Top 10 Scams for 2016 are listed below together with the estimated value lost through them in descending order
- Online Dating Scams – $17 million reported
- Wire Fraud – Spearphishing – $13 million reported
- Identity Fraud – $11 million reported
- Online Purchase Scams – $8.6 million reported
- Binary Option Scams – $7.5 million reported
- Employment Scams – $5.3 million reported
- Canada Revenue Agency Scam – $4.3 million reported
- Fake Lottery Winnings – $3 million reported
- Advance Fee Loans – $1.1 million reported
- Fake Online Endorsements – Unknown
Why You Should Report
BBB CEO and president Danielle Primrose shared in a press release that the positive lining in all of the above is that active reporting of scams have gone up. She also said that this development could be the reason for a higher loss that was recorded for last year. She quickly added that unfortunately, the figures they shared is most likely just 5% of what the actual figures are because only a very small number of people would admit to being victims of scams.
Primrose further shared that more work needs to be done for awareness and that people shouldn’t be ashamed to report incidences of scam and fraud. Together with the BBB, she is urging everyone to report offers or businesses that sound like fraud or a scheme to the Better Business Bureau at BBB.org/scamtracker.
Want to protect yourself or your business against fraud? Avail of private investigation services to assess your vulnerability. You might end up being surprised at what we can find out lurking just beneath your nose. Contact us today!