How to spot common consumer or financial scams & take action

If you think you may be a victim of a fraud or scam, there are some key steps you should take immediately to reduce your risk of losing more money, protect your personal information and avoid being scammed again.

One of the most common scams against seniors today is called the “grandparent scam”. Watch this short video to learn more:

If you’ve been scammed you can consider taking legal action against those involved in the fraud or scam. If you don’t have a lawyer, you may contact the Law Society Referral Service. They provide up to one half hour of free legal consultation.

You should:

  • stop all communication with the fraudster or scammer
  • avoid making any major financial decisions until you feel you’ve taken action to secure your accounts
  • gather all records you have of the fraud or scam, such as:
    • correspondence with the scammer (e.g., letters, emails, text messages)
    • financial statements
    • receipts
    • contracts
    • contact information the scammer used to contact you (e.g., phone numbers, email addresses)
    • websites and social media accounts used for the scam (print out hard copies)
    • any papers, marketing material or ads used for the scam (e.g., brochures, flyers, copies of ads on classified sites)
  • avoid touching documents that the scammer may have touched, and protect them with a plastic case or cover
  • notify financial institutions and other companies where you have an account that may have been affected
  • change passwords to accounts that may have been affected, including social media sites
  • document your actions if you contact law enforcement, financial institutions and other agencies (e.g., notifying your bank, changing your banking passwords), starting from when you first noticed the fraud in a log (include dates, times, names and contact information)
  • protect your devices if you used your computer, laptop or tablet to communicate with a scammer:
    • take your device to a professional to have it checked it
    • ensure security software on your device is up to date
    • install anti-spyware protection
    • scan your hard drive and files
  • put an alert on your credit report by contacting Equifax Canada or TransUnion Canada

Also consider removing your phone number from databases by placing it on the Do Not Call List (DNCL). To register a number on the DNCL, click here for detailed registration instructions.

A Community News blog post

West Toronto Support Services (WTSS) is committed to engage our readers with relevant community news and access to resources, services and programs in our community.  A healthy community is a diverse and connected community!

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