As a store owner or manager your customers’ safety matters to your revenue, after all without them your business can’t succeed. In our previous blog, we highlighted Common Fraud that C-Store Owners Need To Know and how you can protect yourself. In this blog, we will focus on how fraudsters are targeting your consumers, and what you can do to help protect them.
Here are 3 common Consumer Scams:
1. CRA Scams - the victim receives a phone call claiming to be the CRA agent, and informs the victim that they owe taxes. The CRA agent (fraudster) requests immediate payment.
2. Grandparent or Emergency Scams - The fraudster pretends to be a family member claiming they are in trouble and they need money right away. The scammer may have looked up personal information such as names and birth dates to make the call seem real. The caller will ask the victim to send money right away.
3. Romance Scams - The fraudster creates a fake profile, it can be on a dating website or social network. The fraudster will then make a connection with an unsuspecting victim. Over a period of weeks or months they play upon the victims emotions eventually asking for money, gifts or personal details.
Some of these consumer scams may seem far removed from your place of business, but take notice when consumers come into your store and make purchases. You may see some warning signs that can help you protect them. Here are a few things you should watch out for:
- Does the consumer seem under duress or seems anxious when making a purchase? Ask if everything is ok, it may seem simple, but it can prompt the consumer to inform you of why they are making that purchase and in the end you can protect them from financial losses.
- Is the customer making a large purchase or multiple large purchases in gift cards or online payment vouchers? This is a red flag. Remind the customer that these products are often targeted by scammers and ask them if they are certain they are buying them for a legitimate reason.
- The customer indicates they are making a payment for insurance, CRA, ransomware, malware, virus cleanup, sending money to loved ones, or any number of scams which are in circulation. Inform them of the current scams circulating and tell them to notify the RCMP.
It is important as a merchant or consumer to report any fraudulent activity to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre or the Competition Bureau. You can also visit our Fraud Page to read the latest fraud alerts and advisories or download our ebook for more information. The best way to fight fraud is to stay informed!