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This booklet in its printed, online and video editions is an important step in that direction. Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development Fraud is a crime that threatens every Canadian, regardless of their education, age or income.

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It provides tips on how to protect yourself and debunks common myths that might allow fraudsters to gain your trust.

Since we first launched the booklet in March 2012, it has remained one of our most popular publications.

You may receive a phone call, an email, a text message or see a screen on your computer. You’ve just won a lottery/a cruise/a shopping spree/a BRAND… Here’s a “winning” formula: Only buy legitimate tickets for lotteries… Examine all of the terms and conditions of any offer very carefully—claims of free or very cheap offers often have hidden costs.

There are often costs involved with claiming your prize, and even if you do receive a prize, it may not be what was promised to you. Be wary of premium rate phone numbers or premium texts Don’t send money for fees or taxes to people you don’t know and trust… Calls to premium rate phone numbers or premium text messages can be very expensive.

In Canada, it is a crime to promote a pyramid scheme or even to participate in one.

Ponzi schemes are fraudulent investment operations that work in a similar way to pyramid schemes. Be very careful when someone offers you money to help transfer their funds.

Don't be fooled by claims that the offer is legal or has government approval—many scammers will tell you this. Scammers and fraudsters play upon the universal desire to win big… with lottery, sweepstakes and contest scams designed to put money in their pockets… as they profit by making you pay premium text or phone rates, bogus “fees” or hidden costs.

Instead of receiving a grand prize or fortune, you will lose every cent that you send to a scammer. Even worse, many of these scams are designed SPECIFICALLY to steal your banking and other personal information… after which the fraudsters cash in by stealing from you or holding your data for ransom.

Fraudsters are becoming more sophisticated in their methods, but so are consumers.

You can make a difference not only in your own life, but in the lives of the people you care about by recognizing, rejecting and reporting fraud.

Scammers target people of all backgrounds, ages and income levels.

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