The Better Business Bureau said more than 50,000 scams were reported across Canada last year. (File)

Cat-phishing tops list of Better Business Bureau’s 10 scams of 2018

More than 50,000 scams were reported across Canada last year

A new scam duping Canadians out of millions topped the Better Business Bureau’s list in 2018.

The BBB announced its latest annual list of top 10 scams on Friday at a news conference at Vancouver Police Department headquarters.

READ MORE: Former pastor, son ‘preyed upon shared spirituality’ to defraud investors of $450K

Danielle Primrose, the president and CEO serving mainland B.C., said 2018 was another record-breaking year for scams, with more than 50,000 reported across Canada – more than 300 of those in B.C. alone.

Last year, Canadians lost more than $121 million to scammers – almost double the amount from 2015.

“In the past, people believed scammers only target seniors. However, the statistics are telling a different story,” said Primrose. “Scams are evolving – they are more aggressive, devastating, convincing and there is now a scam for everyone.

“I cannot stress enough how important it is to report every instance of scams and frauds.”

The number-one scheme people fell victim to has to do with love.

In 2018, Canadians lost more than $22.5 million, an increase from $17 million from 2016, to schemes such as cat-phishing through online dating. The fraudster charms the victim over a period of time, then asks for money to help a sick relative or other emergency.

Income tax extortion scams came second, and are one of the most prevalent because of the number of reports received about threatening phone calls, text and phishing emails.

Online purchase scams fell from the number one spot and to number three for 2018. Canadians lost more than $3.5 million by falling prey to fake websites, purchase of counterfeit goods, and receiving fraudulent cheques.

Here are the top 10:

1. Romance scams

2. Income tax extortion scams

3. Online purchase scams

4. Employment scam

5. Phishing

6. Subscription scams

7. Advance free loans

8. Tech support scams

9. Home improvement scams

10. Bank investigator scams



joti.grewal@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

VIDEO: Inaugural township-wide garage sale rated a success

‘It went extremely well,’ said veteran garage sale participant

Taekwondo Festival draws hundreds to Langley Events Centre

Annual event a showcase of Korean martial art skills, culture and music

VIDEO: Bowen Byram named top prospect

Giants defenceman recognized as premier NHL draft pick

Langley golfer James Allenby takes Canada Life Open lead

Shot career-low round at Point Grey Golf & Country Club

REPLAY: The best videos from across B.C. this week

In case you missed it, here’s a look at the replay-worth highlights from this week in the province

Mistrial declared in Jamie Bacon murder plot trial

Bacon was on trial for counselling to commit the murder of Person X

B.C. VIEWS: Money-laundering melodrama made for TV

Public inquiry staged to point fingers before 2021 election

Canadian homebuyers escaping high housing costs by moving to secondary cities

In British Columbia, exurbs have grown in the Hope Valley and Kamloops

Feds lay out proposed new rules for voice, video recorders in locomotives

Transport Canada wants to limit use of recorders to if a crew’s actions led to a crash

Raptors beat Bucks 100-94 to advance to franchise’s first-ever NBA Finals

Leonard has 27 points, 17 boards to lead Toronto past Milwaukee

Third person charged in death of B.C. teen found in torched SUV

Inderdeep Kaur Deo facing charge of accessory after the fact to murder

Kamloops girl, 9, recovering from carbon monoxide poisoning now out of ICU

Her mother who was sleeping in the same tent with her did not survive

UPDATE: Surrey RCMP say boy, 11, missing for two days found safe

Dominic Mattie was last seen at 5 p.m. in the 13500-block of Gateway Drive in Surrey

Most Read