VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – Millions of dollars were lost to criminals in BC last year. The Better Business Bureau has released a list of the Top 10 Scams of 2014 and it involves the Internet and a few classic scams that just won’t go away.
Scams are everywhere from identity theft to phishing emails and everything in between. Danielle Primrose with the BBB says the major scam last year was the big data breach involving companies like Home Depot and Target.
“Which was the big box breach that happened throughout the year. We wanted to just make sure that consumers were aware that, although, some data breach will continue to happen there are ways they can protect themselves.”
Primrose adds the top advertising scam was fake online reviews. In 2014, a lot of money was also lost to fake billing scams, one involving someone who was posing as a BC Hydro worker.
“[They were] threatening to cut off their power if they didn’t pay right away. What was interesting though is the request to pay was by a VISA pre-paid credit card and we just wanted to make sure and BC Hydro wants to make sure that consumers know that’s not how they do business.”
Two years ago, Canadians lost roughly $53 million to scammers and according to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre that number hit $70 million in 2014.
The BBB’s Top 10 Scams of 2014
1. Top Auto Scam – Automotive Online Pricing
2. Top Emotional Scam – Disaster Charity Fraud
3. Top Identity Theft – Remote Computer Repair
4. Top Social Media Scam – Fake Facebook Friend Request
5. Top Romance Scam – Catphishing/Online Dating scam
6. Top Utilities Scam – Fake Billing
7. Top Finance Scam – Online Affinity Fraud
8. Top Sales Scam – Redirected Robocalls
9. Top Big Data Scam – Big Box Breach
10. Top Ad Scam – Fake Online Reviews