Test your knowledge of fraud
March 24, 2022
The Wise Owls program is supported by the RCMP & Alberta Provincial Rural Crime Watch Association, and it aims to educate seniors. Seniors gain the necessary tools to recognize a problem, who to talk to, how to report it and where to go for more information. We provide awareness and education for seniors. While the senior population grows, so does their vulnerability to abuse. Elder abuse is any action or inaction by self or others that jeopardizes the health or well-being of any senior.
Unfortunately, there are a variety of scams and frauds happening across our Province and Country, with new ones being invented daily. It is a constant battle to keep educated and aware of the various ways fraudsters are trying to separate you from your money. Learning how to be vigilant and protect yourself from scammers is paramount.
Recognizing a scam
A large number of scams and fraud attempts are based around the scammer imitating government services in order to gain control of your personal and financial information.
Learning how to identify various branches of the Canadian Government such as Service Canada or 1 800 O-Canada, Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), Immigration, Refugees, Citizenship Canada (IRCC), or Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), is vital. It is important to remember that a government agency will NEVER initiate a request for your Social Insurance Number, credit card number, bank account number, or passport number by telephone, text, or email. If you receive a telephone call or email asking for such information or requesting money, it is a scam.
The Government of Canada has compiled a list of guidelines to assist you in identifying legitimate communication, and what to expect if they actually contact you.
Types of scams
Types of scams and fraud can vary, and fraudsters don’t discriminate. Be on the lookout for phone calls, emails, text messages, and mail claiming to be from the Government of Canada. Other types of scams include suspicious requests demanding immediate payment, scams targeting newcomers to Canada, and even scams related to COVID-19.
Protecting yourself against fraud is of the utmost importance. Here are a few tips to help avoid becoming a victim:
1. Be aware of the various types of scams and know what to look out for. Knowledge is power, after all.
2. Learn how to avoid scammer pressure tactics and get tips on how to verify legitimate communication.
3. Choose strong passwords, passphrases, and PINs for any sensitive information online.
4. NEVER give out your personal or financial information over the phone, through text message, or email if you aren’t sure with whom you are communicating.
Test your knowledge of fraud
If you are still not 100% confident that you may not be able to tell a legitimate phone call from a scam, you can test your expertise with the Government of Canada’s ‘Test your knowledge of fraud’ test.
Explore various fraud scenarios and questions, and answer to the best of your ability. You’ll have the option to view the correct answer as well as a brief explanation of why that is indeed the right choice.
What should you do if you are a victim of fraud or a scam?
Never be embarrassed if you think you are the victim of a scam. Reporting is crucial to help prevent others from becoming victims. If you do not report, law enforcement does not have the information they need to prevent the crime from happening again or to pursue the criminals responsibly. Report scams and frauds by calling the police on the non-emergency line. (*NOT 911*)
Report crime online!
The RCMP are encouraging all Albertans to report eligible crimes online (select property crimes under $5,000). Reporting less serious crimes online helps emergency dispatch and frontline members focus their time on high-priority calls. It provides a convenient way to share photos to the RCMP as well. These reports assist in crime analysis, aid in establishing trends and patterns, and ultimately leads investigators to the chronic offenders. It also assists in making decisions about how and where to deploy resources. Crimes reported online will be taken just as seriously as crime reported in any other way.
Help reduce crime, report online! #ReportSmart
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