Calgary police Sgt. Matt Fredericksen speaks at a press conference to outline the 10 most prominent scams in the country.

Would you fall for one of the 10 most prominent scams in Canada?

With March being Fraud Prevention Month, the Better Business Bureau (BBB) partnered with the Calgary Police fraud prevention team on Monday to release a list of scams that have the most devastating impacts on consumers in Canada.

In its new Risks and Emerging Technologies: 2019 BBB Scam Tracker Risk Report, travel, vacation and timeshare scams are the costliest, with a median loss of $5,000.

"It turns out that for every way there is to do business, there’s a way to scam somebody and any time there is a development in technology or a new way of communicating, you’ll find very shortly behind, the scammers are there as well," said Camie Leard, vice-president of BBB serving southern Alberta and east Kootenay.

The report is based on data supplied by consumers to the BBB Scam Tracker and is based on the BBB Risk Index — a unique algorithm that calculates exposure, susceptibility and monetary loss to offer a more accurate assessment of scam risk.

The second most prevalent frauds were advance fee loan scams, with susceptibility at 71.1 per cent. 

Romance scams and cryptocurrency scams were the third and fourth on the list, with a median dollar loss of $4,000 and $3,617 respectively. 

Online purchase scams were the most attempted, making up 23.9 per cent of all those reported.

"We know that we are under reported, we know people are embarrassed about falling victim for this because they have a moment afterward of 20/20 hindsight, said Sgt. Matt Frederikson with the Calgary Police fraud team.  

"They’ve talked to someone else, they've no longer got that emotional involvement and realized, I've been scammed and they get embarrassed and think I’m the only one, and that's not the case.”

Employment scams round out the top five most prevalent in Canada and police encourage all victims to contact them and report what happened.

The BBB encourages people of all ages to do research before giving someone money, along with talking to friends, co-workers, or family so you don’t become a victim of a scam.  

The 10 most prominent scams include:

  • Employment
  • Cryptocurrency
  • Online purchase
  • Fake checks/money orders
  • Advance fee loan
  • Romance
  • Home improvement
  • Investment
  • Tech support
  • Travel/vacation/timeshare

Learn more about the BBB Risk Report online.