BBB serving Mainland BC President Danielle Primrose and Victor Hammill with the Competition Bureau of Canada speaking at National Top 10 Scams. (CompBureau/Twitter)

Weight loss, cryptocurrency fraud among BBB’s top 10 scams of 2017

Better Business Bureau releases its best-of-the-worst in reported fraud last year

Online dating, weight loss and cryptocurrency scams were among the Better Business Bureau’s list of top scams that duped Canadians out of millions of dollars last year.

On Wednesday, the organization released its 10 best-of-the-worst types of fraud of 2017, based on what was most commonly reported through the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre and the BBB Scam Tracker website.

The total loss through fraudulent schemes has been steadily increasing in the past three years, primarily due to more consumers moving to online purchasing, BBB president Danielle Primrose said in a news conference.

Money-transfer wire fraud, also known as “spearphishing,” and income tax scams are also on this year’s list.

Fuelled by Canadians looking to maintain good health, Competition Bureau’s Victor Hammill said weight loss scams are one of the most concerning.

Scammers typically advertise products with “quick solutions and results” that come in the form of lotions and pills, he said.

New to the list this year: cryptocurrency scams. As more consumers look to bitcoin trading and other forms of virtual currency, many are vulnerable to fraudulent schemes.

READ MORE: Dozens of Cloverdale women involved in illegal ‘gifting clouds’

READ MORE: Tax season is upon us and that means the CRA scam will be in full force

While scammers bilked Canadians of more than $95 million, investigators believe about five per cent of victims actually come forward to report their loss, suggesting that actual losses across the country are closer to $2 billion.

The national list comes just days after the Mission RCMP and Federal Serious and Organized Crime Unit arrested four people believed to be involved in “gifting circles,” a pyramid scheme that’s made its round through B.C. in the past, that could involve more than 1,000 people in the Lower Mainland.

“Everyone is a target now,” Primrose said. “Staying informed and on top of the numerous ways scammers try and get your money is key to making sure you don’t fall victim. That’s why we do this every year. Recognize it, report it, stop it.”

Top 10 scams:

  1. Online purchase scams
  2. Wire fraud, or spearphishing
  3. Online dating scams
  4. Employment scams
  5. Cryptocurrency scams
  6. Income Tax scams
  7. Miracle weight loss scams
  8. Advance fee loans
  9. Shady contractor services
  10. Fake invoices

@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Updated: Kelowna cops investigate armed robbery at city centre business

Robbery sparks late afternoon manhunt by armed police officers with guns drawn

UPDATED: Oliver wildfire extinguished, B.C. Wildfire mopping up

6-ha. brush fire contained before it could spread farther

As Penticton Indian Band goes dry, lessons from a northern neighbour

The Esk’etemc First Nation, a Secwepemc people near Williams Lake, has been dry since 1972

Peter’s Bros. scores $9M federal contract to repave highway in Jasper

The Penticton-based company is expected to complete the highway repaving project by late-October

Elvis lives again in Penticton

Elvis Festival back this weekend for 17th year

Updated: Kelowna cops investigate armed robbery at city centre business

Robbery sparks late afternoon manhunt by armed police officers with guns drawn

Late goal gives England 2-1 win over Tunisia

At the last World Cup in 2014, England couldn’t even win a game

Canadian military police officer pleads not guilty to sex assault

Sgt. Kevin MacIntyre, 48, entered his plea today at a court martial proceeding in Halifax

Vernon cold case murder suspect bail hearing Tuesday

Paramjit Singh Bogarh will appear in Vernon Law Courts at 10 a.m. June 19

Tigers looking to lock up title

Face Flames tonight in Penticton

Cheers erupt as Federal Court judge approves historic gay purge settlement

Gay military veterans said they were interrogated, harassed and spied on because of their sexuality

Remains of two people found on Vancouver Island

Officials have not said whether or not the remains belong to two missing men, last seen in Ucluelet in mid-May

Helping B.C.’s helpers cope

The MRT has helped almost 7,000 first responders and street workers in 57 communities in B.C.

Most Read