The Top 10 Scams of 2014

Technology and living online increases the need to educate the public and raise awareness of risks, says the Better Business Bureau

The 'fake friend request' is the most popular scam on social media

The Better Business Bureau serving B.C. has released its 22nd annual Top 10 Scams list, and says roughly 70 million dollars was lost in Canada in 2014 to “scammers, hackers, and thieves”.

“They’re trying to empty your wallet as quickly as they can,” said the Competition Bureau of Canada’s Victor Hammill on Thursday, in a live-streamed press conference with the Vancouver Police Department.

“So what do they do? They try to find, where are your vulnerabilities.

“There is a scam for everyone, at every age and every demographic.”

This year’s list aimed its ire at the web – the top auto scam of 2014 was ‘automotive online pricing’, the top identity theft was ‘remote computer repair’, the top social media scam was the ‘fake Facebook friend request’, and ‘Catfising‘ was the top romantic scam.

“In today’s world, there is even more need to keep educating the public and raise awareness of these issues,” says Danielle Primrose, president of BBB serving Mainland B.C. “Technology continues to help scammers cast a wider net for people to be susceptible, so we will keep rallying our partners and bringing the message to you.”

(The full list is available below…)

Vancouver PD media spokesperson Sgt. Randy Fincham added, “If it’s too good to be true, in this day and age, it is too good to be true.”

The 2014 list was compiled with the help of several community partners, including the Competition Bureau, BC Hydro, the BC Securities Commission, the Vehicle Sales Authority of B.C., and the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.

BBB Top 10 for 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
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