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Frequent fraudsters

Frequent fraudsters

Investment scams top the list of ways crooks try to fleece New Brunswick residents

Scam artists seem to have the good people of New Brunswick on speed dial. New Brunswick’s Financial and Consumer Services Commission says a recent survey found that almost four in 10 New Brunswickers (38 per cent) believe they have been approached by a fraudulent investment opportunity in the past year. That is an increase of four per cent from 2016.

Marissa Sollows, the Commission’s senior education coordinator, says residents have been approached by scammers in a variety of ways—by telephone, email and even through friends, family or co-workers. The common theme in all contact is the crooks are trying to separate New Brunswick residents from their hard-earned money. “These frauds and scams are always evolving and changing,” she says.

Education about these scams is the key to preventing people from losing their life savings to fraud of any kind. What are some of the most common scams that have emerged in the province this year? Here are two to watch out for.

Binary options: This is a scam where someone is contacted to invest in an asset or stock for an extremely short time frame. Binary options trade at such a speed that wins and losses happen very quickly. But the odds are stacked in the scammers favour so that losses are inevitable for the client.

Free samples: Consumers receive pop up ads while visiting certain web pages asking them to provide their address to receive free samples. If they do, they receive products they didn’t ask for and get an invoice requesting payment. This is followed up by a second invoice threatening to send the account to a collection agency.

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