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

Just Posted

Young cyclist struck near Galloping Goose Trail

Minor injuries reported by police

New Coast Guard ship crashes into Ogden Point breakwater

‘It is fairly unprecedented that it would happen’

The shores will not rock in 2019

Atomique Productions announce Rock the Shores festival will not return in 2019, future is uncertain

Video shows logging operation on disputed Saturna Island land

Tsawout First Nation members opposed to logging on reserve land

Family still searching for missing Langford man two weeks after disappearance

Family hopeful he is alive, offering $10,000 reward

VIDEO: Keeping the hope alive, 28 years later

Annual Michael Dunahee Keep the Hope Alive run raised money for Child Find B.C.

Bobrovsky perfect as Blue Jackets blank Canucks 5-0

Vancouver shut out for 10th time this season

Fundraising campaign launched for man caught in SilverStar avalanche

In only two days, the GoFundMe surpassed its $15,000 goal

Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps says future assembly deliberations won’t be closed to public

Reversal comes after Saanich Coun. Judy Brownoff raised concerns

Terror at sea: Helicopter rescues frightened cruise passengers in Norway

The Viking Sky cruise ship was carrying 1,300 passengers and crew when it experienced engine trouble

Search and rescue team helicopters injured climber from B.C. provincial park

A 30-year-old woman suffered a suspected lower-limb fracture in Skaha Bluffs Provincial Park

DOJ: Trump campaign did not co-ordinate with Russia in 2016

Attorney General William Barr said special counsel “does not exonerate” Trump of obstructing justice

Most Read