The Better Business Bureau said more than 50,000 scams were reported across Canada last year. (File)

Cat-phishing tops list of Better Business Bureau’s 10 scams of 2018

More than 50,000 scams were reported across Canada last year

A new scam duping Canadians out of millions topped the Better Business Bureau’s list in 2018.

The BBB announced its latest annual list of top 10 scams on Friday at a news conference at Vancouver Police Department headquarters.

READ MORE: Former pastor, son ‘preyed upon shared spirituality’ to defraud investors of $450K

Danielle Primrose, the president and CEO serving mainland B.C., said 2018 was another record-breaking year for scams, with more than 50,000 reported across Canada – more than 300 of those in B.C. alone.

Last year, Canadians lost more than $121 million to scammers – almost double the amount from 2015.

“In the past, people believed scammers only target seniors. However, the statistics are telling a different story,” said Primrose. “Scams are evolving – they are more aggressive, devastating, convincing and there is now a scam for everyone.

“I cannot stress enough how important it is to report every instance of scams and frauds.”

The number-one scheme people fell victim to has to do with love.

In 2018, Canadians lost more than $22.5 million, an increase from $17 million from 2016, to schemes such as cat-phishing through online dating. The fraudster charms the victim over a period of time, then asks for money to help a sick relative or other emergency.

Income tax extortion scams came second, and are one of the most prevalent because of the number of reports received about threatening phone calls, text and phishing emails.

Online purchase scams fell from the number one spot and to number three for 2018. Canadians lost more than $3.5 million by falling prey to fake websites, purchase of counterfeit goods, and receiving fraudulent cheques.

Here are the top 10:

1. Romance scams

2. Income tax extortion scams

3. Online purchase scams

4. Employment scam

5. Phishing

6. Subscription scams

7. Advance free loans

8. Tech support scams

9. Home improvement scams

10. Bank investigator scams



joti.grewal@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Cattle Show set to return to Stettler Jan. 31st and Feb. 1st

“Stettler, historically, has been a very strong cattle community. It was a real hub for the cattle industry.”

RCMP Major Crimes Unit lays charges in Stettler death

Nicholas Climb Johnson, 32, of Stettler is charged with second degree murder in the death of his father

Stettler’s Big Brothers Big Sisters has plenty of events lined up for the first part of 2020

January is Mentoring Month across Canada and throughout North America

RCMP remind drivers about dangers of unlocked and idling vehicles

Leaving a vehicle running unattended creates a situation that criminals find difficult to resist

Stettler Junior Curlers traveled to the Wetaskiwin bonspiel Jan. 11th and 12th

Coming up on Feb. 8th and 9th, the Club will be hosting its own junior bonspiel with 28 teams registered

Canada to bolster screening of central China passengers for virus at 3 airports

Additional measures will include messaging on arrivals screens in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver

PHOTOS: Eastern Newfoundland reeling, search underway for missing man after blizzard

More than 70 centimetres of new snow fell overnight, creating whiteout conditions

Prince Harry, Meghan to give up ‘royal highness’ titles

‘Harry, Meghan and Archie will always be much loved members of my family,’ says Queen Elizabeth II

RCMP Major Crimes Unit lays charges in Stettler death

Nicholas Climb Johnson, 32, of Stettler is charged with second degree murder in the death of his father

Metis nations ask Ottawa to negotiate directly with them, not national body

Three provincial Metis nations will work through the national council until after the federal government releases its 2020 budget

Canada to give $25,000 to families of each Canadian who died in Iran plane crash

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also made it clear that Canada still expects Iran to compensate victims

Oil and gas industry applauds top court’s dismissal of B.C.’s Trans Mountain case

The high court’s ruling Thursday removes one of the remaining obstacles for the project

Sylvan Lake RCMP seek assistance in locating missing male

Mark Crier, 17, was last seen in Sylvan Lake on Jan. 13

UPDATE: Supreme Court dismisses B.C.’s appeal in Trans Mountain pipeline case

Judges decide whether B.C.’s power to protect environment can include impeding a federal project

Most Read