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BBB releases list of Top 10 riskiest scams in Canada in 2019

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After being absent for at least three years, a once-popular scam has made it back on a notorious list.

The Better Business Bureau released its Top 10 Riskiest Scams of 2019, and topping that list: the travel, vacation and timeshare scam.

“Travel, vacation and timeshare scams are now the riskiest scams in Canada,” the BBB’s vice-president of marketing and communications Camie Leard said.

 

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The private, nonprofit organization said people were at risk of losing up to $5,000 to scammers — about 16 times higher than the overall median dollar loss in 2019.

The BBB said several consumers reported bogus businesses deceiving people into paying exorbitant closing fees on fraudulent timeshare resales, while others reported unrealistically cheap deals.

The BBB advised travellers should only use reputable and dependable travel agencies and that timeshare sellers should thoroughly research potential brokers.

Pridis, Ala., resident Candice Hunter said she did that and still got scammed.

Hunter said she was called — out of the blue — by a company offering to buy her timeshare in Cabo, Mexico. After researching the company thoroughly, she agreed to a purchase price. She said she was then contacted by a lawyer, who told her to contact the timeshare operator. She was provided a number and was told she would have to pay a percentage of the sale price.

“I thought I was calling my timeshare company to give them the 10 per cent,” Hunter added. “They did a quick switch on me.”

Instead of calling her timeshare company, Hunter said she was unknowingly connected to another scammer. She regrets not looking up the number independently and added it was a costly mistake.

“$11,000 Canadian,” she said. “I was a single mom for 17 years and I had to put my kids through school. And I saved that money and that’s hard.”

 

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Leard said scammers are always on the lookout for certain people to victimize.

“The main message with scammers is they’re always looking at human foibles,” she said. “They’re always looking for a way in.”

“I think the story is when times are tough people are more vulnerable to scams. They’re looking for often quick fixes quick cash and income.”

 

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Calgary police Sgt. Matt Frederickson agreed, adding once that money is gone — victims won’t see it again.

“For the most part the money is gone,” he said. “We’re not able to get the money back on most cases, unfortunately, because the fraudsters are able to distribute it.”

 

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Frederickson said there were almost 5,000 scams reported to Calgary police last year, resulting in about $50 million in losses.

He also suggested people research any company thoroughly, and not jump at an offer without first thinking it over and talking it over with others.

Other scams on the BBB top 10 list

Other scams joined the travel, vacation and timeshare scam on the BBB’s list, including:

  • Advanced fee loan scam
  • Romance scam
  • Cryptocurrency scam
  • Employment scam
  • Online purchase scam
  • Home improvement scam
  • Tech support scam
  • Credit card scam

The BBB added while Canadians still lost money to tax scams, the number of reports and losses in 2019 had decreased.

Who is at risk?

The BBB said in 2019, women were slightly more likely to lose money to scammers, but men lost significantly more money — $600 versus $200. When it comes to age, younger individuals were more likely to lose money to scammers than older people, but people 65+ reported higher monetary losses.

 

This year’s report is based on data supplied by consumers to BBB Scam Tracker and used the BBB Risk Index, a unique algorithm that calculates exposure, susceptibility and monetary loss.

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China Moly strikes $550m precious metal deal with Elliott-backed miner – Financial Times

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China Molybdenum Co has sold the rights to future gold and silver production from its Northparkes mine in Australia to a company backed by US hedge fund Elliott Management.

Under the deal announced on Sunday, CMOC, which is listed in Shanghai and Hong Kong, will receive $550m in cash upfront from Triple Flag Precious Metals Corp plus ongoing payments in return for gold and silver output from the mine.

The agreement between CMOC, which has a market value of $12bn, and Triple Flag is the first so-called streaming transaction involving a Chinese mining company.

Royalty and streaming transactions — acquiring long-term rights to buy metal from mines in return for an upfront payment — have become big business in recent years. Companies active in the space include Franco-Nevada, Wheaton Precious Metals, Royal Gold and Triple Flag.

Many big streaming and royalty deals were announced during the commodity prices crash of 2014 to 2016 as cash-strapped miners rushed to bolster their balance sheets and reduce debt. 

While the mining industry is in much better financial shape today, bankers still expect a steady flow of royalty and streaming deals this year as the relative value of gold to copper provides an opportunity to tap into a fresh form of financing.

“This transaction provides CMOC with a long-term financing arrangement at a compelling cost of capital and demonstrates significant value from the gold and silver byproduct production from Northparkes,” said CMOC executive Li Chaochun. “Additionally, CMOC maintains its core exposure to copper production in alignment with our future plans for the mine.”

Gold has been one of the best performing assets in 2020, rising almost 20 per cent to a nine-year high of more than $1,800 an ounce, while copper is up just 3.5 per cent.

In a recent interview with Bloomberg, David Harquail, the chief executive of Franco-Nevada said there was a large number of base-metal companies considering selling big precious-metal streams from their assets.

Located 380km west of Sydney, Northparkes is an underground copper mine that also produces gold and silver as a byproduct. Last year, it churned out 36,000 tonnes of copper, 25,000 ounces of gold and 308,000 ounce of silver.

Toronto-based Triple Flag is run by Shaun Usmar, the former chief financial officer of Barrick Gold. It was founded four years ago with financial backing from Elliott and now has 40 assets in its portfolio.

The deal with CMOC is its biggest to date and the ninth-largest in the history of the streaming industry. The support of Elliott has allowed the company to write large cheques for big streaming deals.

CMOC has been one of the most acquisitive Chinese mining companies. In 2016 it paid $2.65bn for Tenke Fungurume, the giant copper and cobalt mine in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and spent $1.5bn to purchase Anglo American’s niobium and phosphate mines in Brazil.

It purchased an 80 per cent stake in Northparkes, a fully mechanised, underground mine, from Rio Tinto in 2013 for $830m. The rest of the mine is owned by Sumitomo Metal Mining.

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NL Unemployment Rate Up Slightly in June – VOCM

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The unemployment rate in Newfoundland and Labrador rose slightly last month to 16.5 per cent from 16.3 in May. Nationally, the rate stood at 12.3 per cent.

Alberta is second-highest among provinces at 15.5 followed by PEI at 15.2, Nova Scotia and BC at 13.0. New Brunswick is below double digits at 9.9 per cent.

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No new COVID-19 cases reported Saturday as N.L. passes 20K people tested – CBC.ca

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Newfoundland and Labrador has tested more than 20,000 people, as no new cases of COVID-19 are being reported Saturday. (Pavel Mikheyev/Reuters)

One day after the province’s first new positive case in 43 days, Newfoundland and Labrador is reporting no new cases of COVID-19 Saturday.

According to a news release from the provincial government, the province’s total caseload remains at 262, with 258 people having recovered from the virus. There have been three deaths.

The province crossed 20,000 people tested as of Saturday, as 20,175 people have been tested — a jump of 205 in the last day.

On Saturday, the province provided an update on its first new case of COVID-19 since May 28.

The case is related to recent travel from the United States, and involves a man in his 50s in the Eastern Health region. The government reported Friday that the man did not travel through the Atlantic provinces during his return to the province.

In Saturday’s news release, health officials say contact tracing around the new positive case has been completed, with everyone considered a close contact testing negative for the virus. Close contacts of the man have also been advised to quarantine.

Government added the man was not symptomatic during travel and followed the province’s self-isolation protocol. As a result, they say risk to the public is low.

The latest COVID-19 information will continue to come via emailed statements on all days except Wednesdays, as the province’s COVID-19 media briefings have been scaled back to once a week.

Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador

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