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

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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

(Black Press Media files)
‘Potentially damaging’ winds expected in Metro Vancouver

Wind is expected to pick up late Sunday night

Bella Coola RCMP are alerting residents that the road between 4 Mile subdivision and downtown will be closed until at least tomorrow. (File image)
Missing man found safe, Surrey RCMP said

Riley Arnold- Higgenbottom was last seen at 1:30 p.m., Nov. 28 in the 18900-block of 69 A Avenue

Tanvi Pandhi, a Grade 12 student at Fleetwood Park Secondary, took part in the Surrey school district’s survey of students in grades 10 to 12, with a focus on health and safety during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo: Lauren Collins)
Surrey students voice concerns about mask wearing, distancing in schools

Surrey school district has been surveying students in grades 10 to 12

(Photo: Amy Reid)
VIDEO: 2020 Community Leader Awards recognize Surrey’s unsung heroes

They don’t often receive recognition and don’t necessarily have a high profile in the community

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Help make children’s wishes come true

Black Press Media, BraveFace host mask fundraiser for Make-A-Wish Foundation

(File photo)
Vancouver police warn of toxic drug supply after 7 people overdose at one party

Seven people between the ages of 25 to 42 were taken to hospital for further treatment.

A man walks by a COVID-19 test pod at the Vancouver airport in this undated handout photo. A study has launched to investigate the safest and most efficient way to rapidly test for COVID-19 in people taking off from the Vancouver airport. The airport authority says the study that got underway Friday at WestJet’s domestic check-in area is the first of its kind in Canada. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Vancouver Airport Authority *MANDATORY CREDIT*
COVID-19 rapid test study launches at Vancouver airport for departing passengers

Airport authority says that a positive rapid test result does not constitute a medical diagnosis for COVID-19

114 Canadians were appointed Nov. 27 to the Order of Canada. (Governor General of Canada photo)
Indigenous actor, author, elder, leaders appointed to Order of Canada

Outstanding achievement, community dedication and service recognized

Screenshot of Pastor James Butler giving a sermon at Free Grace Baptist Church in Chilliwack on Nov. 22, 2020. The church has decided to continue in-person services despite a public health order banning worship services that was issued on Nov. 19, 2020. (YouTube)
2 Lower Mainland churches continue in-person services despite public health orders

Pastors say faith groups are unfairly targeted and that charter rights protect their decisions

A big job: Former forests minister Doug Donaldson stands before a 500-year-old Douglas fir in Saanich to announce preservation of some of B.C.’s oldest trees, July 2019. (B.C. government)
B.C. returning to ‘stand-alone’ forests, rural development ministry

Horgan says Gordon Campbell’s super-ministry doesn’t work

Peter Wilson, left, and Micah Rankin, right, formed the Special Prosecutor team that was tasked with reviewing and litigating charges stemming from the Bountiful investigation. Trevor Crawley photo.
End of Bountiful prosecution wraps up decades of legal battles

Constitutional questions had to be settled before a polygamy prosecution could move forward

Alexandre Bissonnette, who pleaded guilty to a mass shooting at a Quebec City mosque, arrives at the courthouse in Quebec City on February 21, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Mathieu Belanger - POOL
Court strikes down consecutive life sentences; mosque shooter has prison term cut

The decision was appealed by both the defence and the Crown

Most Read