Tips for businesses: avoid becoming a victim of fraud

News Release

March 17, 2016 — OTTAWA, ON — Competition Bureau

The Competition Bureau reminds businesses of some simple tips to avoid being scammed, whether it is on the Internet, over the phone, by mail or in person.

Recognize it:

  • Closely examine any ads or offers, and ask questions about anything that's unclear.
  • Review all unsolicited offers with a critical eye, even if they seem to come from well-known companies.
  • If an offer comes in from a known company, look up their contact information, and contact the company to confirm whether they actually sent the offer.
  • Inform yourself about the product or service offered and don't be pressured to act immediately. Take time to do your research.
  • Read the fine print to understand what you are agreeing to.
  • Always ask for a copy of an offer in writing.
  • Before paying, confirm that you actually agreed to purchase a product or service, and make sure you get what you ordered. Don't be bullied into paying for something by threats to damage your credit rating. Paying bills only when suppliers have a purchase order number from your company will help put an end to billing scams.

Fraudsters are creative, so questioning the legitimacy of every inquiry — no matter how official it may appear to be — is a good policy to have in place.

Reject it:

It’s important to have trained and attentive staff who are cautious and know how to reject suspected fraudulent activity. If you receive a suspicious email, delete it. If you question the legitimacy of a telephone call from an unfamiliar source, hang up. If you get something in the mail asking you to forward personal information or credit card details, throw it in the recycling bin. Trust your instincts — they could save your business or your employer from becoming a victim of fraud.

Report it:

For more information about Fraud Prevention Month and other Competition Bureau initiatives such as the Canadian Edition of The Little Black Book of Scams, visit the Fraud Prevention section of Competition Bureau’s website.

Related Information

  • To report instances of fraud, contact the Canadian Anti‑Fraud Centre, or call 1‑888‑495‑8501.
  • To report cases of unacceptable business practices, such as misleading representations and deceptive marketing, contact the Bureau, or call 1‑800‑348‑5358.

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