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Advice: How can I protect myself from financial scams?

Credit Card Scams

Advice: How can I protect myself from financial scams?


#MakeItMakeSense is a series from the Star that breaks down personal finance questions to help young Canadians gain more confidence and understanding around financial literacy.

In the past, identifying financial scams and fraud was simpler, with robocalls and emails with grammatical errors making it clear it was not legit. But amid the pandemic and the ever-changing digital world, scammers and bots have become more difficult to identify.

In 2021, the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre (CAFC) received 104,295 fraud reports involving over $379 million in reported losses. According to the centre, it is estimated that fewer than five per cent of victims file a fraud report with the CAFC.

So how can we take extra precaution in protecting ourselves online from financial frauds and scams? We brought in money expert Jessica Moorhouse to #MakeItMakeSense and give us her tips.

What are common scams and frauds to look out for?

According to CAFC, the top three frauds based on 2021 reports were identity fraud, extortion and personal information being stolen.

Another common type of scam to look out for is spear-phishing, which the CAFC says involves scammers pretending to be from legitimate sources to convince businesses or individuals to send them money.

Moorhouse noted she has experienced spear-phishing, pointing to a time when an individual copied her social media accounts and began sending direct messages to her followers, running scams asking for money.

“They just literally rip all my…

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