Protecting yourself from today's threats (part 2)

June 03, 2016 • Security

I wanted to bring to your attention some of the more common scams of recent years.

Most individuals or groups perpetrating scams take great care to ensure that they appear legitimate and their malicious intentions remain undetected. By being aware of some of the most prevalent scams, you will be better prepared should you ever find yourself a target of one.   

Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) telephone scam

In 2014, the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre received over 1,200 complaints that individuals had been contacted by someone posing as a representative from the CRA. By October 2015, the number of complaints had risen to almost 6,000.

In this particular scam, Canadians are contacted by phone by one or more fraudsters posing as representatives of the CRA. The fraudsters tell the potential victim some or all of the following: their tax returns have been reassessed, and money is owing to the CRA immediately; failure to pay the outstanding amount could result in arrest or further fines for deliberately hiding income; the matter is confidential, and mentioning it to friends or family will only make matters worse.

The potential victims are then asked to wire funds, purchase and send prepaid cards, or deposit funds directly into a bank account, as opposed to sending the amount to the CRA directly. Typically, the amounts range from $1,000 to $5,000 in an effort to appear plausible based on the average Canadian income. If the potential victim hesitates or begins asking questions, the caller often becomes verbally abusive, attempting to bully the victim into paying up.

Credit card and wire scams

Credit card scams can take many forms. Scammers can fraudulently obtain your credit card number and reproduce it on a blank card, make telephone or Internet purchases or sell your credit card information to other scammers. Money wiring scams involve sending money electronically to another city or country. Scammers sometimes pose as contest organizers looking for fees before prizes can be released, shipping companies requesting more money in order to deliver your package or even a friend of a friend who is in trouble and needs money wired as soon as possible. There are many other forms of credit card and wire scams not mentioned here, but which are equally malicious.  

As always, I am here to answer any questions you may have or discuss the above information in more detail should you require further clarification. Please feel free contact me at your earliest convenience.


Assante does not provide security consulting or other similar services but we are happy to discuss any general concerns that you may have and to provide information regarding the use of Assante’s secure file sharing service, Client Portal.

This material is provided for general information and is subject to change without notice. Every effort has been made to compile this material from reliable sources however no warranty can be made as to its accuracy or completeness. Before acting on any of the above, please make sure to see a professional advisor for individual financial advice based on your personal circumstances. Wealth planning services may be provided by an accredited Assante Advisor or Assante Private Client, a division of CI Private Counsel LP. Please visit or contact Assante at 1-800-268-3200 for information with respect to important legal and regulatory disclosures relating to this notice.

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