Tracking scammers behind fake CRA calls: CBC's Marketplace consumer cheat sheet

CBC's Marketplace rounds up the consumer and health news you need from the week, including our investigation into the scammers behind those fake CRA calls, Ticketmaster recruiting professional scalpers, and a ban on artificial trans fats in Canada.

Newsletter: Consumer and health news you need from the week

Jayesh Dubey is a former employee an illegal call centre in India, linked to fake CRA calls that have bilked Canadians out of millions of dollars. But now he's a whistleblower. (Dave MacIntosh/CBC)

Miss something this week? Don't panic. CBC's Marketplace rounds up the consumer and health news you need.

Want this in your inbox? Get the Marketplace newsletter every Friday.

Ticketmaster recruits pro scalpers

Feel like you're being ripped off for concert tickets? It might be because the world's largest box office has been recruiting professional scalpers. CBC News and the Toronto Star went undercover and found Ticketmaster allows scalpers to defy ticket-buying limits and use fake identities to resell at inflated prices (with a cut for Ticketmaster).

Ticketmaster issued a statement to CBC News saying it was "categorically untrue that Ticketmaster has any program in place to enable resellers to acquire large volumes of tickets." It also said it had already begun an internal review of professional reseller accounts and employee practices before the CBC News story came out.

Artificial trans fat ban

There's a new ban in place in Canada that's going to bring changes to the food you find on store shelves. It is now illegal for manufacturers to add artificial trans fats to their products. Trans fats are typically used in foods that can be hard to resist — like french fries, doughnuts and popcorn — but they're also "heart-clogging." Retailers will be given a grace period of two years to clear the existing inventory. 

Foods like french fries can be cooked in partially hydrogenated vegetable oil, the primary source of artificial trans fats. (Carlos Osorio/Associated Press)

Coca-Cola interested in cannabis

Would you drink a soft drink infused with cannabis? Coca-Cola might be in talks with Canada's Aurora Cannabis Inc. to enter the new market post-legalization. A partnership between the two companies would be the first for a manufacturer of non-alcoholic beverages. Up until now only the alcohol industry has been focused on adding cannabis-related products.

Dale Wilesack looks at cannabis seedlings at an Aurora Cannabis facility in Montreal. Aurora says it's interested in cannabis drinks, but didn't confirm talks with Coca-Cola. (Ryan Remiorz/The Canadian Press)

Baby Aspirin research

The so-called "wonder drug" might not be working wonders after all. New research has found that most people won't benefit from taking daily low-dose Aspirin to prevent a first heart attack. The results of the U.S.-Australian study of more than 19,000 volunteers show that risks of major bleeding in low-dose Aspirin users overwhelm any heart benefits.

A new study 'could not identify any subgroup in whom Aspirin was beneficial in preserving good health.' (Patrick Sison/Associated Press)

What else is going on?

Consumer attitudes toward "best before" dates are contributing to food waste. That's according to researchers from University of Québec in Montréal, who say dates stamped on food aren't a marker of food safety, but consumers are still throwing away items based on them. 

The U.S. division of Manulife is telling customers to track their fitness for perks. All John Hancock life insurance policies will provide incentives for hitting exercise targets tracked on wearable devices such as a Fitbit.

A Toronto company wants to pay five "cannabis connoisseurs" to smoke. The cannabis firm AHLOT is offering up to $1,000 a month to sample various strains of marijuana.

This week in recalls

These oysters could be contaminated with salmonella; this coleslaw could be contaminated with Listeria; these toy vehicles, this plastic toy airplane and these rubber animal toys could pose a choking hazard to young children; these drawer knobs could pose a laceration hazard.

Watch this week: Who's behind those fake CRA calls?

We tracked the scammers behind one of the biggest cyber-crime schemes in Canadian history — those fake CRA phone calls. Tens of thousands of Canadians scammed out of hundreds of millions of dollars. So, who's really behind the scheme? David Common traveled to India to catch the fraudsters. We tracked down two illegal call centres and found out the RCMP could be doing more to bust the scammers.


Avneet Dhillon is a multi-platform journalist with CBC News based in Toronto.

With files from Reuters and The Canadian Press


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Become a CBC Member

Join the conversation  Create account

Already have an account?