Browser Compatibility Notification
It appears you are trying to access this site using an outdated browser. As a result, parts of the site may not function properly for you. We recommend updating your browser to its most recent version at your earliest convenience.
Skip to content


Thousands of Canadians are defrauded each year. Scam artists are up to date and well-organized. They use the latest trends and sophisticated techniques:

  • Professional marketing materials
  • Well-crafted and researched telephone scripts, which are traded among criminals.
  • Friendly tone and "Generous" offers.
  • Believable answers for your tough questions
  • Ability to impersonate legitimate businesses, charities and causes.
  • Expertise to use your own emotions against you.
You can protect yourself:
  • Identity theft is the fastest-growing type of fraud. Protect your precious personal information. Ask all marketing, research or charity callers for:
  • Detailed, written information that you can check yourself.
  • Time to think about the offer. Scam artists pressure you for an answer, saying the offer will expire or go to the next person if you don't act now.
  • Valid references and the means to contact them.
  • A call-back number. But beware a crook can give you a number where a colleague is standing by to finish taking your money.
  • Shred unwanted personal documents such as transaction records, credit applications, insurance forms, cheques, financial statements and tax returns.
You pay to play but you can't win:

The Pitch: A caller says you were automatically entered into a foreign lottery and you won a big prize! But you must act now and send fees to cover taxes and handling.

The Facts: Most legitimate lotteries do not call winners. If a caller requires you to pay an up-front fee to claim a prize, it's a scam. The only winner is the crook.

Pre-qualified never means prepay:

The Pitch: You're told you've been " pre-qualified" for a low-interest loan or credit card, or to repair your bad credit even though banks turn you down. They ask for your social insurance, Driver's licence and ban k account numbers - and a processing fee of several hundred dollars.

The Facts: Beware of advertisements or phone calls offering credit, especially if you have been turned down by banks. Legitimate lenders never "guarantee" a card or loan before you apply. A legitimate pre-qualified offer means you've been selected to apply - you must still complete an application and you can still be turned down.

Not so special delivery:

The Pitch: Your business receives a "last chance" or an invoice says an urgent delivery of photo copier or fax supplies is awaiting confirmation of your address. It appears that someone in your office ordered services or supplies. But the bill hasn't been paid.

The Facts: Scam operators dupe many businesses into paying for goods and services they haven't ordered. They bet that many small business owners and their staff are just too busy to check that every invoice is legitimate. Carefully examine all invoices, even those under $50.

Your Guide to Security Features on Canada's Bank Notes
Key Security Featuresmoney.JPG
  1. Holographic Stripe
    If you tilt the note you can see brightly, rainbow colored numbers and maple leaves on the shiny, metallic stripe on the front of the bill. Each maple leaf has a color-split within it. Smaller numbers are in the background of the 3-dimensional stripe. The stripe has curved edges. 
  2. Watermark Portrait
    When you tilt a bill to the light there is a small, ghost-like image of the portrait to the left of the large numbers as well as smaller numbers. This is called a watermark and can only be seen if there is light in the back. The watermark can be seen on both sides of the bill.
  3. Windowed Color-Shifting Thread
    Hold the bill to the light and you can see a line on both sides of the bill. On the back of the bill the line looks like a series of metallic dashes that change from gold to green when tilted. Small 5,10,20,50 or 100 are printed on the line and woven into the paper.
  4. See-Trough Number
    Hold the note to the light and look between the watermark and the large number for a perfectly aligned number on the back and front.
  5. Iridescent Maple Leaves
    Tilt the bill and the 3 maple leaves will change from a faint image to a shiny gold color. The leaf is outlined well and there are no raised edges.
  6. Hidden Number
    Tilt the bill and the number to the left of the portrait will be come visible.
  7. Optical Security Device
    Tilt the note and the metallic patch changes colors from gold to green, you cannot peel off and there are no raised edges.
If you receive a counterfeit note what would you do?
  • Stop and ask for another bill. Keep the counterfeit
  • Call the police
  • Record the details of how you received the bill
  • Give the note to the police and always get a receipt.

For more information call 1-888-513-8212

Charitable Donations:
  • Beware of false foundations
  • Donations are a great way to raise money for a charitable foundation. Unfortunately, there are people who pretend to be part of false foundations and who raise money—but keep it to themselves.
  • Be careful before making a donation—there is usually no way of getting it back. For most charities, you are able to obtain a tax receipt. This can be a great tip in knowing whether this charity is legitimate. You should also find out how much of your donation will be going towards helping others and not funding for other unknown things.
  • What to watch out for before you contribute:
  • Solicitors who pressure you to give money immediately
  • A temporary table in the public asking for spare change
  • Charities you have never heard of before
  • Protect yourself. Don't give into peer pressure. Never give out personal information. Never give cash or cheques to anyone you don't know.
  • Instead of waiting for charity to come to you, why not choose who you wish to give to?

For more information call the Consumer Services Bureau at:
(416) 326-8800 or 1-800-899-9768 or visit their website

For more information or to report scam type frauds contact the Anti-Fraud Centre at: or by phone at 1-888-495-8501 or by email at

Protect Your Credit Cards 

  • Doesn't protecting your credit cards make sense? Be sure to report lost or stolen credit cars to the card issuer immediately.
  • Keep a list of your credit card account numbers, expiry dates and card issuers'.
  • Use caution when you give your credit card account number over the phone. If you did not place the call, be sure you are dealing with a reputable company.
  • Never volunteer your card number to callers who tell you that you have won a trip, a prize, or are eligible to receive a free gift.
  • Deal with reputable companies for mail order transaction.
  • Avoid leaving credit cards or other valuables in a locker at a recreational facility or public place, even if it can be locked.
  • At home, keep your credit cards out of sight to avoid unauthorized use by people such as babysitters, guests, or neighbours.
  • If you find your card after reporting it, notify the issuer before trying to use it.
  • Keep your credit card in view, whenever possible, after you give it to a clerk.
  • After using your card, retrieve it promptly and make sure that you get back your own card.
  • Keep all receipts and check them against your monthly statement. Report any discrepancies immediately to the card issuer.
  • When travelling beware of pick pockets in busy, crowded public places such as transit systems.
  • When travelling, don't needlessly expose cash or credit cards. This would attract criminals.

    Remember treat your credit cards like cash, this can attract criminals.