Fraud is one of the fastest growing crimes and can have a devastating impact on its victims.  Being knowledgeable about how frauds are committed will go a long way in protecting you from becoming a victim. 

  • Protect your personal information - never give your personal information unless you know with whom you are dealing and how that information will be used. Never reply to unsolicited emails or phone calls seeking personal details, banking information, or credit card information. Minimize personal information contained on social media sites and limit access to who can view your information.
  • Monitor your bank and credit card activity and report any discrepancies immediately to your financial institution or credit card issuer.
  • Review your credit history through Equifax and Trans Union Credit. Dispute any unauthorized entries with the credit bureau and file a police report if you are the victim of identity theft.
  • Internet scams are numerous and often cross international borders. Use caution when dealing with persons you do not know especially if asked to cash a cheque and wire or e-transfer funds to another person. Even certified cheques can be forged. Use complex passwords on your computers and electronic devices. Utilize and maintain current antivirus software. Be cautious of links contained in emails. Never give anyone access to your computer based on an unsolicited phone call or email.
  • There is a lot of truth to the old adage 'if it sounds to go to be true, it is probably a scam'
  • Take the time to seek out advice or do research before committing or sending funds. Don't let anyone rush you into making a decision.
  • Consider adding your phone number to the National Do Not Call List .
  • Consider sharing this information with everyone you know to get the message out.

  • Talk to friends, family, the elderly, neighbours, and members of the vulnerable sectors of the community who may not be connected to social media or may have missed previous warnings in the news.

    scam alert

Scams can occur over the phone,  by text message, email, and door-  to-door


Common Known Scams

 The "Grandparent Scam"

The scammers target the elderly in an attempt to steal large sums of money through a wire transfer.  Financial losses from this scam are usually several thousand dollars per victim.  A grandparent will receive a phone call from someone who claims to be their grandchild or someone acting on their behalf such as a police officer, lawyer, doctor, or other person.  Make attempts to contact your grandchild or another family member first to determine whether the call is legitimate

Canada Revenue Agency Scam

Scammers posing as Canada Revenue Agency workers are still targeting people in the Niagara Region.   The scam may insist that personal information is needed so that the taxpayer can receive a refund or a benefit payment. Cases of fraudulent communication could also involve threatening or coercive language to scare individuals into paying fictitious debt to the CRA.  The scammers will often threaten arrest.  This debt repayment may involve gift cards and wire transfers. A government agency will never use gift cards as a form of debt re-payment.

If you receive a call saying you owe money to the CRA, you can call or check "My Account" on line at

Door-to-Door Sales Fraud

Watch for door-to-door sales people who pressure you to enter your home to inspect items such as your monthly bill, hot water tank, furnace, and air conditioning.  No one has the right to enter your property without prior notice.  The situation of a person or persons attending your door unsolicited is yours to control.  Never sign on the first day until you've had a chance to sleep on it.  Don't be fooled by time sensitive deals or discounts. 

How to report scams?

 If you have been a victim of a scam and experienced a financial loss, please call the Niagara Regional Police Service non-emergency number at 905-688-4111.

If you received one of these calls but did not experience a financial loss, call Phonebusters at 1-888-495-8501 or contact the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at 1-888-495-8501

Want more information on scams?

The following sites provide current information relating to current frauds and additional information to protect you from falling victim to a scam:

For more information, visit The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre web site Canadian anti fraud centre logo

Or visit The Ministry of Consumer Services web site