Community News

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Be aware of these top scams

Each year, the Better Business Bureau investigates thousands of scams perpe against consumers. Many of these scams are variations on age old tricks aimed at parting people with their money. Nevertheless, new fraud schemes also float to the surface each year and it’s important to stay on top of them so that you don’t become a victim.

Here then are a few of the top scams from 2011, as compiled by the Manitoba chapter of the Better Business Bureau (for a complete list, visit

Social Media/Online Dating Scams
If you have a lot of personal information publicly available on social media or dating websites, scam artists may use that information to make it seem like they know you. One of their favourite tricks is to send links to viral videos that appear to come from your friends. When you click on the link, you are prompted to “upgrade your Flash player,” but instead you end up downloading a virus that logs into your social media account and searches your personal data.

Identity Theft Scams
One very popular identity theft scam involves hotel stays and works like this: The victim receives a call in their hotel room in the middle of the night. It’s from someone purporting to be the front desk, claiming their computer has crashed and they need to get the victim’s credit card number again. The fraudsters hope the victim will be too tired or confused to catch that this might be a scam and will simply give their credit card number freely over the phone.

The BBB Scam
According to the Better Business Bureau, the most popular scam in 2011 was a scam involving the BBB itself. Millions of people have received what looks like an official notice from the BBB. The subject line is usually something like “Complaint Against Your Business.” The instructions tell the recipient to click a link or open an attachment for details. Once the victim follows those instructions, a malicious virus is installed on their computer.

Modern Earth Web Design, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada