Phone scam targets Syrian refugees, N.B. consumer protection agency warns

SAINT JOHN, N.B. -- New Brunswick's consumer protection organization is warning the public about a series of phone scams targeting women, small businesses and Syrian refugees.

See Full Article

The Financial and Consumer Services Commission says in one scheme, a Syrian family in Saint John lost about $400 after it was contacted by someone seeking money and banking information in exchange for English lessons.

CEO Rick Hancox said the Crown corporation is only aware of one family that has been targeted, although he believes scammers will likely seek out more newcomers to Canada.

"The nature of these kinds of frauds is that they typically follow the headlines," said Hancox. "The underlying scheme is the same and they just apply it to the latest headline and go from there."

Hancox said refugees and new immigrants are particularly vulnerable to fraud schemes because they are adjusting to new surroundings and a new culture.

"Their experience is the environment that they have come from and a lot of times that's very different from the Canadian environment," he said.

As an example, Hancox said newcomers might not be aware that Revenue Canada doesn't call people up and threaten to have them arrested.

The commission also warned about a pyramid network described as a pay-it-forward cloud that leads participants to believe a gifting club will generate a return of up to 800 per cent.

Potential members have been asked to make an investment ranging from $1,200 for a return of $10,000.

In western New Brunswick, a woman claiming to be hearing impaired contacted a photography business and wanted to buy services for a wedding and insisted the business charge an additional amount to a credit card for a wedding planner.

The RCMP says it is aware of the calls to businesses in western New Brunswick, but no formal complaints were made.

Hancox said the level of fraud activity is not out of the ordinary.

"Anybody that follows their emails, there's always somebody coming through with something whether it's a cruise or you've won a lottery thing," said Hancox.

He said people need to be aware that fraud schemes are constantly going on and that they should never provide such things as personal banking information through contacts that are not solicited.



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Amid outcry over CFS, Indigenous woman plans to deliver baby in secret

    Canada News CTV News
    Ottawa is preparing for an emergency meeting of Indigenous leaders, provincial and territorial governments, child-welfare agencies and advocacy groups next week to address the staggering overrepresentation of Indigenous children in foster care. Meanwhile in Winnipeg, an Indigenous woman is preparing a home birthing kit. Source
  • Correctional Service fires 2 more staff at Edmonton prison after bullying probe

    Canada News CTV News
    EDMONTON -- The Correctional Service of Canada has fired two more workers at a maximum security prison in Edmonton following an investigation into allegations of workplace harassment, intimidation and bullying. The move follows the termination of four other staff from Edmonton Institution on Jan. Source
  • Russian minister warns against reviving Nazis at exhibition

    World News CTV News
    Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov opened an exhibition on the Holocaust in the former Soviet Union on Thursday, saying the world has "a sacred duty" not only to commemorate the millions of victims "but to do everything in our power to prevent such tragedies in the future. Source
  • New Zealand prime minister announces she's pregnant

    World News CTV News
    WELLINGTON, New Zealand -- New Zealand's prime minister announced on Friday that she is expecting her first child in June. Jacinda Ardern, 37, took office in October. Speculation swirled around whether she would start a family soon when she took over the leadership of her then opposition Labour Party last year. Source
  • 'A state of severe helplessness': How did 13 siblings stay captive for so long?

    World News CTV News
    It sounds like something out of a horror film: 13 siblings, aged two to 29, allegedly held captive and tortured by their parents for years. When they did emerge from their home for rare outings to places like Las Vegas and Disneyland, they appeared underweight and pale in their matching outfits and identical haircuts. Source
  • Car drives into crowd at Copacabana Beach in Rio; 11 hurt

    World News CTV News
    Firefighters carry a woman on a stretcher after a car drove into the crowded seaside boardwalk along Copacabana beach in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Thursday, Jan. 18, 2018. Military police said on Twitter that at least 11 people were injured and that the driver has been taken into custody. Source
  • Chelsea Manning officially files for U.S. Senate race

    World News CTV News
    BETHESDA, Md. - Chelsea Manning has officially filed to run for the U.S. Senate in the 2018 Maryland Democratic primary. The state elections board website says Manning filed Thursday in Montgomery County. Manning also tweeted a photo Thursday evening saying she is officially on the ballot. Source
  • U.S. says Africa is important, but no apology for Trump's vulgar language

    World News CTV News
    U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley told African envoys Thursday that "Africa is very important for the United States," but she didn't apologize for President Donald Trump's vulgar comment about the continent as they had demanded, the chair of the African Group said. Source
  • Things to know about California parents accused of torture

    World News CTV News
    LOS ANGELES -- A California couple has pleaded not guilty to allegations they tortured a dozen of their children, kept them chained to beds for months and starved them so much that their growth was stunted and their muscles atrophied. Source
  • Transcript: Trump dossier first focused on real estate deals

    World News CTV News
    WASHINGTON -- Research that led to the creation of a dossier alleging a compromised relationship between President Donald Trump and the Kremlin focused in its early stages on his real estate projects, a history of his tax disputes and "opaque" business deals being done in the former Soviet Union, according to the transcript of a congressional interview released Thursday. Source