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SOURCE Competition Bureau
OTTAWA, Dec. 15, 2017 /CNW/ - You receive an alarming call from someone who claims to be from the government. They say that something went horribly wrong and that the only way out of this mess is to pay the money you owe as soon as possible. They convince you that the fastest way to get the money is to pay them with iTunes gift cards.
Don't give in! This is a typical example of an extortion scam. Those scams are on the rise in Canada. They take many shapes. Sometimes, scammers pretend to be from the government, like in the example above, or from the police and threaten to be on their way to arrest you or deport you. They can go even as far as claiming that a close relative is hurt or in danger. Details vary but the outcome is always the same: victims are bullied and scared into paying fake debts or ransom.
Remember one thing: no matter what, a legitimate organization will NEVER ask you to pay using iTunes gift cards. You should hang up immediately!
Avoid becoming a victim of extortion scams by recognizing the red flags:
If you are contacted by someone and have any doubts that they may be a scammer, remember this:
If you own or manage a retail store where iTunes gift cards are sold, you can help fight these scams. Be on the lookout for customers who:
If you believe a customer might be victim of an extortion scam, tell them about this alert and recommend that they call the police.
If you have been the victim of a scam, contact your financial institution and local police. If you have information about a scam, report it to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre (1-888-495-8501).
The Competition Bureau, as an independent law enforcement agency, ensures that Canadian businesses and consumers prosper in a competitive and innovative marketplace.
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