OTTAWA, ONTARIO -- (Marketwire) -- 03/12/13 -- The Competition Bureau announced today its Top 2 '2 Good 2 B True' Scams, as part of '2 Good 2 B True Day'.
March is Fraud Prevention Month, and the Competition Bureau, along with its Fraud Prevention Forum partners, are helping Canadians consumers to recognize fraud, report it and stop it.
The Competition Bureau's "Top 2 '2 Good 2 B True' Scams" are:
-- False Online Testimonials; and-- "Subscription Traps" on Mobile Devices.
Canadians using social media can use the #2Good2BTrue tag throughout '2 Good 2 B True Day', to follow what the Bureau and its Fraud Prevention Forum partners have to say about scams and fraud prevention. The Competition Bureau is on Twitter, with the user name @CompBureau.
"Consumers and businesses often rely on reviews scrutinizing a product or service when making purchasing decisions," said Interim Commissioner of Competition, John Pecman. "Online testimonials that appear to be from unbiased individuals but are actually paid-for, malicious or fraudulent can mislead consumers and businesses."
False online testimonials have received attention from regulators and law enforcement organizations. There are examples of public relations firms and small businesses that have been exposed for having employees posting biased testimonials about products and services, while posing as unaffiliated consumers.
"Subscription traps are deceptive techniques designed to trick consumers and businesses into registering for recurring fees for goods or services," said Deputy Commissioner, Lisa Campbell. "Consumers and businesses often do not become aware of subscription traps until they receive a bill or money is taken from their account."
Subscription traps could include inferring that a product or service is free when there are in fact charges. Perhaps there are hidden or difficult-to-understand conditions to be met or schemes involving conditional refunds.
For more information about the Competition Bureau's Top 2 "2 Good 2 B True" Scams, please see the backgrounder, which outlines some helpful ways to watch out for these schemes.
"If something seems '2 Good 2 B True', it often is," said Interim Commissioner, John Pecman. "The theme of Fraud Prevention Month this year is empowering consumers. The best way for law enforcement officers to obtain helpful information about fraudulent activities is for Canadians to report their experiences to the proper authorities, whether they have been a victim or not."
Fraud Prevention Month is an annual education campaign organized to improve consumers' and businesses' awareness and understanding of the dangers of fraud.
To report instances of fraud, Canadian consumers and businesses can contact the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre through its website at www.antifraudcentre.ca, or by calling 1-888-495-8501. To report cases of unacceptable business practices such as misleading representations and deceptive marketing, the Competition Bureau can be reached online via www.competitionbureau.gc.ca, or by calling 1-800-348-5358. Canadians may also contact their local police forces.
The Fraud Prevention Forum, chaired by the Competition Bureau, includes more than 125 private sector firms, consumer and volunteer groups, government agencies and law enforcement organizations that have banded together to help combat fraud and raise awareness. During Fraud Prevention Month, Forum members will participate in a number of targeted activities across the country, designed to raise awareness among consumers and businesses about the dangers of fraud.
Canadians are encouraged to visit the Fraud Prevention section of the Competition Bureau's website to find out more about fraud, and to view Forum members' activities in the Calendar of Events. Consumer tools on the website include: the Canadian Edition of the Little Black Book of Scams; victim stories that demonstrate how anyone can be a target of fraud; and other important tips on how to recognize fraud, report it and stop it.
The Competition Bureau, as an independent law enforcement agency, ensures that Canadian businesses and consumers prosper in a competitive and innovative marketplace.
FRAUD: Recognize It. Report It. Stop It.
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