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

‘A time of transition:’ CHN looking to release next steps of pandemic response this week

State of local emergency is in effect; Gaagwiis says CHN developing indicators to guide next steps

Skeena-Bulkley Valley MP Taylor Bachrach urges feds to compensate airline passengers

Letter to transport minister touches on Northwest B.C. tourism operators impacted by COVID-19

Two new bridges to be built along Highway 16 between Port Clements, Tlell

Ministry of Transportation says $5.4-million project expected to be complete in fall 2020

‘Now Is the Time’ doc will start streaming on National Indigenous Peoples Day

Film featuring Haida carver Robert Davidson will launch June 21 for free on NFB website

Haida Gwaii couple frustrated after Air Canada cancels flight, denies compensation

Mike Racz says another passenger received $1,000 while he was only offered e-coupon and promo code

VIDEO: Green Coast offers free kayaking to Haida Gwaii residents

First “pop-up paddle” held Monday, May 25; free community paddles expected to continue weekly

George Floyd asphyxiated by sustained pressure: family autopsy

Death sparked a wave of protests across the U.S. and abroad

COVID-19: B.C. commercial landlords can’t evict if they decline rent assistance

Emergency order ‘incentive’ for federal program, Carole James says

Investigators probe death of CN employee at Surrey rail yard

Transportation Safety Board is investigating an ‘occurrence that took place during switching operations’

Trans Mountain starts B.C. leg of pipeline twinning project

Mostly finished in Alberta, Burnaby terminal expanding

Introducing the West Coast Traveller: A voyage of the mind

Top armchair travel content for Alaska, Yukon, BC, Alberta, Washington, Oregon and California!

NDP getting COVID-19 wage subsidy ‘indirectly,’ B.C. Liberal leader says

Andrew Wilkinson says he’s heard no concerns from public

Love flourishes at Peace Arch Park, but COVID-19 concerns loom

South Surrey park becomes only place for international couples to meet

Most Read