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How to Recognize Clever Fraudsters and Stop Them in Their Tracks

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Fraudsters

A gram of prevention is worth a kilo of cure.

With this in mind, we want to give you a heads-up about some of the most prevalent scams that are happening in Canada today so you can protect yourself from fraud.

Inheritance and Life Insurance Scams

Recently, letters were sent to individuals notifying them that they inherited a large amount of money or were named on a life insurance policy of a distant relative that passed away. These letters looked as though they were sent by an attorney or an insurance representative and oftentimes included fake cheques.

When you look more closely at a suspicious email or letter, you might notice misspellings and grammatical mistakes. If it’s an email, it might be labelled as coming from an insurance account, but if you hover over the name, you will see that it is an unusual address from a free email service such as Gmail, Yahoo, or Hotmail. Oftentimes, a letter or message will ask for you to provide personal or banking information to receive the funds or to pay taxes and processing fees. The fraudster is phishing and trying to get access to your private personal and financial information for their own benefit.

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Recruiting Ploys

Online recruitment through social media and messaging platforms, such as LinkedIn, is a tactic fraudsters are using to try to get control of your money. Some are using company branding to look convincing. Many offer work-at-home opportunities with attractive terms.

Be wary of requests for personal information that come from someone you don’t know or don’t trust. If they ask for personal and banking information to pay for an employment screening fee or to purchase office supplies, this should raise a big red flag too. Other telltale signs of a fake employment offer are that the job is too good to be true or the quoted salary is in a foreign currency.

Disaster-Recovery and Property-Damage Fraud

Storm chasers are not just the ones featured on weather shows speeding toward tornadoes. There are also scammers who pretend to be contractors who offer to repair damage to your home after a storm—such as a hurricane that recently pounded parts of Nova Scotia. After a major weather event, people are often frazzled and easy targets for fraudsters. They might show up at your door and tell you they are doing work in the neighbourhood and notice that you are missing some shingles on the roof. Of course, you want the problem fixed as soon as possible so you don’t have any further water damage inside your home. But can you really go up there to inspect if a repair was done properly? Probably not.

Illegitimate contractors often try to scare you by exaggerating the damage to your home (if there even is any) to do extensive work on your home. Some ask for upfront deposits and then disappear. If the work was done at a bargain price, it may be because substandard materials were used and the repair will need to be redone sometime in the very near future.

It’s best to call your insurance company after a natural disaster and use the contractor they recommend. Even then, do some research on the contractor, make sure they are licensed and insured—and don’t sign any agreements until you read through the entire document (even the fine print). If you can, get more than one estimate to compare prices and terms.

Practical Tips to Protect Yourself

Just when you think you have it figured out, criminals come up with a new scam. There are still some basic steps you can take to ensure you don’t become their next target. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Just say no. You can always hang up or block a sender. Don’t let a fraudster play on your emotions with urgent pleas.
  • Verify that the organization is real. Look them up and call or contact them directly to ask if a request is legitimate.
  • Don’t give personal information if you didn’t initiate contact.
  • Beware of upfront expenses.
  • Protect your computer and online presence by ignoring unknown messages and keeping your anti-virus software up to date.
  • Don’t share photos with strangers.
  • Use strong and varying passwords on your online accounts.

 

If you accidentally gave your information to someone you now believe is a fraudster, we recommend that you also contact your local police department.

About what you can do and what you can expect insurers and your government representatives to do on your behalf.

Business

Ottawa expands price caps to Russian petroleum products to reduce revenues

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OTTAWA — The federal Finance Department says Canada is joining its fellow G-7 countries plus Australia to expand caps on Russian oil to include seaborne petroleum products from that country.

The department says the maximum price for seaborne Russian-origin petroleum will be US $100 per barrel for “premium-to-crude” products as of Sunday, and US $45 for “discount-to-crude” products.

It says in a press release the new caps build on a Russian crude oil price limit announced in December, adding both moves will weaken President Vladimir Putin’s ability to fund the war against Ukraine.

The Department of Finance says the caps will be enforced by prohibiting buyers who do not abide by the price caps from obtaining services from companies in the G7 or Australia.

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It says the price cap mechanism has been designed to reduce Russian revenues while recognizing the importance of stable energy markets and minimizing negative economic effects.

Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland says Russian oil revenues have already declined since the first price cap took effect and the additional price caps “will be another blow to Putin’s war chest.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 4, 2023.

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This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Meta and Canadian Press News Fellowship.

 

The Canadian Press

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Adani crisis ignites India contagion fears, credit warnings – Al Jazeera English

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  1. Adani crisis ignites India contagion fears, credit warnings  Al Jazeera English
  2. Indian tycoon Adani hit by more losses, calls for probe  CP24
  3. Adani Flagship Shelves $122 Million Bond Plan After Market Rout  BNN Bloomberg
  4. How Adani selloff stacks up against the biggest stock collapses  Deccan Herald
  5. Adani response to Hindenburg report: Embattled corporations invoking nationalism, or national sentiment, is not unheard of  The Indian Express
  6. View Full Coverage on Google News

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Jobs report is a 'fairytale scenario' for markets, economist says – Yahoo Finance

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Jobs report is a ‘fairytale scenario’ for markets, economist says  Yahoo FinanceView Full Coverage on Google News

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