Last Updated on by SCARS Editorial Team

Little Black Book of ScamsScams A Scam is a confidence trick - a crime -  is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their trust through deception. Scams or confidence tricks exploit victims using their credulity, naïveté, compassion, vanity, irresponsibility, or greed and exploiting that. Researchers have defined confidence tricks as "a distinctive species of fraudulent conduct ... intending to further voluntary exchanges that are not mutually beneficial", as they "benefit con operators ('con men' - criminals) at the expense of their victims (the 'marks')". A scam is a crime even if no money was lost.

The Canadian Edition: THE LITTLE BLACK BOOK OF SCAMS

First published by the Competition Bureau Canada 2012
Reproduced with permission from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission

YOUR GUIDE TO PROTECTION AGAINST FRAUDFraud In law, fraud is intentional deception to secure unfair or unlawful gain (money or other assets), or to deprive a victim of a legal right. Fraud can violate civil law (e.g., a fraud victim may sue the fraud perpetrator to avoid the fraud or recover monetary compensation) or criminal law (e.g., a fraud perpetrator may be prosecuted and imprisoned by governmental authorities), or it may cause no loss of money, property, or legal right but still be an element of another civil or criminal wrong. The purpose of fraud may be monetary gain or other benefits, for example by obtaining a passport, travel document, or driver's license, or mortgage fraud, where the perpetrator may attempt to qualify for a mortgage by way of false statements. A fraud can also be a hoax, which is a distinct concept that involves deliberate deception without the intention of gain or of materially damaging or depriving a victim.

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From The Guide:

MYTH BUSTERS:

Busting these common myths will minimize your chances of being scammed.

All companies, businesses and organizations are legitimate because they are licensed and monitored by the government: This is not always true. While there are rules about setting up and running a business or a company in Canada, scammers can easily pretend to have approval when they don’t. Even businesses that are licensed could still try to scamScam A Scam is a confidence trick - a crime -  is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their trust through deception. Scams or confidence tricks exploit victims using their credulity, naïveté, compassion, vanity, irresponsibility, or greed and exploiting that. Researchers have defined confidence tricks as "a distinctive species of fraudulent conduct ... intending to further voluntary exchanges that are not mutually beneficial", as they "benefit con operators ('con men' - criminals) at the expense of their victims (the 'marks')". A scam is a crime even if no money was lost. you by acting dishonestly.

All Internet websites are legitimate: This is not always true. Websites are quite easy and cheap to set up. The scammers can easily copy a genuine website and trick you into believing it is legitimate.

There are short cuts to wealth that only a few people know: This is not always true. Ask yourself the question: if someone knew a secret to instant wealth, why would they be telling their secret to others?

Scams involve large amounts of money: This is not always true. Sometimes scammers target a large number of people and try to get a small amount of money from each person.

Scams are always about money: This is not always true. Some scams are aimed at stealing personal information from you.

GOLDEN RULES:

Remember these golden rules to help you beat the scammers.

Always get independent advice if an offer involves money, personal information, time or commitment.

There are no guaranteed get-rich-quick schemes—sometimes the only people who make money are the scammers.

Do not agree to offers or deals right away. If you think you have spotted a great opportunity, insist on time to get independent advice before making a decision.

Do not hand over money or personal information, or sign anything until you have done your homework and checked the credentials of the company that you are dealing with.

Do not rely on glowing testimonials: find solid evidence of a company’s success.

Log directly on to a website that you are interested in rather than clicking on links provided in an email.

Never send money, or give credit card or online account details to anyone you do not know and trust.

If you spot a scam or have been scammed, get help. Contact the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre, the Competition Bureau or your local police for assistance. See page 29 for contact information.

Scammers are imaginative and manipulative. They know how to push your buttons to produce the response they want.

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