CRA scam, fake advanced loans hit Atlantic Canada in 2015 says Better Business Bureau
March is fraud prevention month
The Better Business Bureau's president for the Atlantic provinces says people in the region experienced many of the top scam's listed in the BBB's annual top 10 list for 2015.
"The CRA income tax scam is probably far and away the most frequent," said Peter Moorhouse, president and CEO of the BBB for the Atlantic provinces
"This is where people are getting a call at home claiming to be from the CRA pressuring them to make a credit card payment or send money otherwise to the people on the phone and of course it's not the Canada Revenue Agency calling," said Moorhouse.
95 CRA-related scams were reported across Canada to the BBB's Scam Tracker tool where people can upload and share their scam experiences. Five were reported in Atlantic Canada with two complaints filed in New Brunswick, two in Nova Scotia and one complaint in Newfoundland and Labrador between Jan. 1, 2015 and Mar. 1, 2016. None of those cases involved any loss of money.
Don't be fooled
Moorhouse says another big scam that hit Atlantic Canada in 2015 was the advanced fee loan scam.
"There are a number of organizations operating under a number of different company names that seem to be just regularly targeting Atlantic Canadians with loans. They're targeting people with poor credit or no credit and are charging a fee up front, in theory to ensure that loan which actually isn't allowed," said Moorhouse.
There were six advanced loan scams in Atlantic Canada with two in New Brunswick, two in Nova Scotia and two in Newfoundland and Labrador reported on Scam Tracker. A Nova Scotian reported losing $1,900 and another person in New Brunswick says they lost $675.
"The really sad thing is even though the dollar value that people are losing is fairly low, if you're looking at the people who are being taken by this, they're the people who can least afford that money," said Moorhouse.
"These people are scraping together money from family, friends and they cannot afford that money and it's heartbreaking," he said.
Moorhouse says March is fraud prevention month and that the BBB plans to use social media to alert people about scams and how to avoid them.