Online fraud in Canada is considered to be one of its serious problems. Being one of the top online consumers, Canadians are often targeted by various online criminals.  Every day new forms of online fraud are reported to authorities, causing numerous victims to lose millions of dollars. This is the reason that Canadians are advised to take extra precautions to protect themselves against these fraudulent schemes.

One of the best ways to protect yourself against cyber crimes is to keep yourself informed about the most common forms of fraud that you’ll likely encounter. This can help you plan and implement efficient security measures that can keep you safe online. To give you an idea, here is a list of the most common forms of online scams in Canada:

Top Online Fraud Schemes in Canada

  • Nigerian Letter

The Nigerian Letter scam is not only popular in Canada. It is also one of the most popular forms of online scam in other countries. This online scam uses email as its primary platform when reaching out to potential victims. The fraudulent email usually states that you have been chosen to receive a large sum of money. All you need to do is pay for the processing fees and documentation necessary for the release of your money.  The intention of the scammer is to keep your initial payment without delivering the fortune or earnings that they promised.

  • CRA Scam

The Canada Revenue Agency Scam caused Canadians $2.9 million dollars worth of losses last year. Scammers using this scheme contact their victim by means of email. The email that you will receive is efficiently formatted to make it look like an official letter from the CRA. It is a tax payment demand letter, threatening to file a lawsuit against you or have you deported due to non-payment. The details on how you can settle your taxes are stated in the letter, including payment deadline.  However, this is not how the CRA works, so by the time you realize that you have been scammed, the money is already gone.

  • Romance Scam

Of all the online fraud cases in Canada, this scam has earned the highest amount of money and is continuously causing more losses every year. In the hope of finding “the one“ online, many Canadians are falling victim to the romance scam. Scammers using this scheme take advantage of the features found in online dating sites or through social media to find their victims. They then use this platform to make you fall in love with them. After some time, the scammer will begin taking advantage of your attachment and start asking for money other gainful favors.

  • Free Trial Scam

The free trial scam is an online service scam that come in the form of online video streaming, online gaming or other Web services. The aim of this online fraud is to get your credit or debit card information so they can start charging you for unauthorized transactions.  There are some reports that scammers even use stolen credit card information to pay for their illegal transaction and avoid being implicated. This is the reason that you should be extra cautious when giving away your information.

The list of cases provided here provides just some of the most ubiquitous forms of online fraud in Canada. There are still other types of fraud that are not included in this list, some of which are new while others are categorized as isolated cases. Constantly updating your information regarding online fraud cases in your area is a must, especially those that are related to the sites that you frequently visit.