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

  • China defends prison care of Nobel Peace laureate

    World News CTV News
    BEIJING - China appears to be responding to criticism that prison authorities failed to provide sufficient care to the ailing Nobel Peace laureate Liu Xiaobo, saying he received regular health checks but nothing abnormal was detected until May. Source
  • Venezuela hunts for helicopter pilot behind 'terrorist attack'

    World News CTV News
    CARACAS, Venezuela -- Oscar Perez is a cop, pilot, action movie star and dog trainer. He’s now also a fugitive, accused of strafing two key Venezuelan government buildings from a helicopter in a quixotic attempt to set off a revolt against President Nicolas Maduro. Source
  • Demonstrators try to erect ceremonial teepee on Parliament Hill, stopped by police

    Canada News CBC News
    Big police presence on Parliament Hill where #Indigenous protestors are trying to get onto the grounds. #Ottawa#Ottnewspic.twitter.com/H8wOZYu6nd— @eskura A group of Indigenous people and supporters headed to Parliament Hill tonight to try and perform a ceremony and erect a teepee, but faced opposition from police. Source
  • Canada 150 protesters try to erect teepee on Parliament Hill

    Canada News CTV News
    Demonstrators looked to stage a peaceful protest by erecting a teepee on Parliament Hill Wednesday night, as the city gears up for Canada Day events. A group of roughly 80 people carrying poles for a teepee tent were stopped by RCMP, Ottawa Police and Parliament Hill security at about 8 p.m. Source
  • 5 things to know about Venezuela's political crisis

    World News CTV News
    Five things to know about Venezuela's escalating political crisis: HOW DID THE UNREST BEGIN? In late March, the government-stacked Supreme Court issued a ruling stripping the opposition-controlled National Assembly of its last powers. The decision was later reversed amid a widespread international criticism, but it launched near protests in which at least 75 people have died. Source
  • B.C. couple donates kidneys to strangers

    Canada News CTV News
    A B.C. woman donated a kidney to a complete stranger, and her act of kindness inspired her husband to donate one too. Elizabeth Black of Burnaby decided to give her kidney away after seeing her father-in-law and a neighbour deal with kidney disease. Source
  • Canada 150: From nurse to accomplished executive, one immigrant's success story

    Canada News CTV News
    As Queenie Choo strolled through Vancouver’s Chinatown on a recent afternoon, memories of her first days in Canada were never far from her mind. "I was made to feel very welcome, and that was something I will never forget, even up to now," she told CTV News. Source
  • Police: Pregnant woman overdoses, charged with baby assault

    World News CTV News
    EAST BUTLER, Pa. -- A Pennsylvania woman who overdosed on heroin while pregnant and had to undergo a cesarean section is being charged with assault on her unborn child, authorities said. Kasey Dischman, 30, was roughly seven months pregnant when she injected herself with heroin she found under a couch early last Friday in her home in East Butler, about 64 kilometres north of Pittsburgh, a criminal complaint obtained by KDKA-TV shows. Source
  • Australian police charge Vatican cardinal with sex offences

    World News CTV News
    SYDNEY, Australia -- Australian police charged a top Vatican cardinal on Thursday with multiple counts of historical sexual assault offences, a stunning decision certain to rock the highest levels of the Holy See. Cardinal George Pell, Pope Francis' chief financial adviser and Australia's most senior Catholic, is the highest-ranking Vatican official to ever be charged in the church's long-running sexual abuse scandal. Source
  • RRRoll Up the Rim in the summer? Yes, it's happening now

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    It’s time to double down on Canada 150 celebrations with a double-double. Tim Hortons has announced a special edition of RRRoll Up the Rim to Win that begins on June 28 and continues through July 21, 2017. Source