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

  • Two men beat a Calgary mother with a hockey stick in road rage: Police

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    Calgary police are searching for two men after a woman was beaten in full view of her child during a random incident of road rage on Wednesday. Authorities say at approximately 5:20 p.m. a woman was driving a black Dodge Caravan southbound on 4 St. Source
  • Canadian astronauts salute John Glenn

    Canada News CTV News
    OTTAWA - Canadian astronauts are paying tribute to American space hero John Glenn, who died Thursday at the age of 95. Retired Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield tweeted that Glenn was a great American who was "an inspiration to us all. Source
  • Warren Allmand, Liberal MP for NDG for 32 years, has died at 84

    Canada News CBC News
    Warren Allmand, the Montreal native who served as the Liberal MP for Notre-Dame-de-Grâce for 32 years, died Wednesday. He was 84. Allmand was first elected in 1965, appointed solicitor general in 1972 and later served in other cabinet posts, first as Indian Affairs minister and later as minister of consumer and corporate affairs. Source
  • Nude selfies snapped as collateral for Chinese loan sharks leaked online

    World News Toronto Sun
    More than 150 nude selfies of poor young women indebted to sleazy Chinese loan sharks have been leaked online. The twisted gangsters -- who work in the shadowy online world -- told the 167 young women to send nude pictures of themselves if they wanted loans. Source
  • New plan will help restore Lake Ontario, St. Lawrence River ecosystem: officials

    Canada News CTV News
    Officials in Canada and the U.S. have signed a new plan to regulate water levels and flows in Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River that they say will help restore coastal ecosystems. The agreement, called Plan 2014, will set the flows through the Moses-Saunders Dam, which is on the St. Source
  • Historians shrug as two prime ministers erased from Canadian banknotes

    Canada News CTV News
    Losing two of Canada's wartime prime ministers from the country's $50 and $100 bills won't be a step backwards for a country that has plenty to learn about itself, a pair of leading history buffs say. Source
  • Beaten woman stabbed man 61 times

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    A Winnipeg woman who fatally stabbed her abusive boyfriend during a violent confrontation minutes after he had beaten her for refusing his demand for sex has been sentenced to 6 1/2 years in prison. Dawn McFadyen, 35, previously pleaded guilty to manslaughter in the Nov. Source
  • Manyshots brothers to undergo tests for 'moral blameworthiness' in teen's sexual assault nightmare

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    Convicted rapists Corey and Cody Manyshots have been granted Legal Aid funding to have them privately assessed for Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder. Defence lawyers Alain Hepner and Mitch Stephensen appeared in provincial court Thursday along with their clients to update Judge Terry Semenuk on the brothers’ bid for funding. Source
  • Calgary Zoo probes mystery mass penguin deaths [Video]

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    The Calgary Zoo has launched an investigation after seven Humboldt penguins mysteriously drowned. The facility announced the news Thursday afternoon. "This is devastating news," said Jamie Dorgan, director of animal care for the Calgary Zoo. “We have launched a full investigation so we can try to understand what happened and prevent further incidents like this from happening again. Source
  • Slain Edmonton police officer Daniel Woodall's family moving back to England

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    The widow of an Edmonton police officer killed on the job last year says she’s moving back to England with her children. Claire Woodall says it’s been hard raising her two young boys on her own and she wants to be closer to family. Source