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

Vancouver Island woman to attempt historic swim across Juan de Fuca Strait today

Ultra-marathon swimmer Susan Simmons to attempt to swim from Victoria to Port Angeles and back

Port McNeill Cannabis Committee stumbles out of the gate

“I’m worried we could just be all over the map and I need to see a plan.”

Port Alice’s new RCMP officers going through clearance process

The medical process can take several months to complete as there are several steps involved.

East Zeballos placed under evacuation alert as “out of control” wildfire approaches homes

BC Wildfire Service says rolling debris on steep terrain poses danger to firefighters

‘We will not forget:’ Thousands attend funeral fallen Fredericton officers

Hundreds of officials marched in the parade, which included massed band, several police motorcycles

Smoky skies like a disappearing act for sights, monuments around B.C.

Haze expected to last the next several days, Environment Canada said

Canadians react to death of former UN secretary-general Kofi Annan at age 80

Nobel Peace Prize-winning former UN leader died early Saturday following a short illness

44 drownings so far this year in B.C.

Lifesaving Society urging caution to prevent deaths while on lakes, oceans and in pools

Some of B.C.’s air quality levels worse than Jodhpur, India

Okanagan, northern B.C. seeing some of the worst air quality globally

VIDEO: Ground crews keep a close eye on largest B.C. wildfire

Originally estimated to be 79,192 hectares, officials said more accurate mapping shows smaller size

Canadians believe in immigration but concerned about asylum seekers: study

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada paid for study to understand Canadian attitudes

These are the highest-paid actresses of 2018

In its list released this week Forbes said all 10 earned a total of $186 million before tax

VIDEO: Fires break out in scrap piles at mill on Vancouver Island

Nanaimo firefighters got blazes under control in early morning hours Saturday at Harmac Pacific

Most Read