Protect yourself from scammers


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This article was published 02/11/2022 (215 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Protect yourself from scammers

Within a period of one week, I received an email, telephone message and a text from scammers trying to get my money.

The e-mail I received, supposedly from Amazon, asked me to update my payment information while the voicemail from Visa Canada stated that my last payment was missed, and that I needed to call to make payment arrangements. The interesting thing is that I have never purchased anything on Amazon, and I do not have a Visa card.


The so-called ‘Grandma scam’ involves calling older women to tell them one of their grandchildren is stranded somewhere and needs money.

The text allegedly came from a lawyer, telling me that I would receive a large inheritance from a distant relative, upon receipt of an initial fee. Asking for fees prior to receiving an inheritance or prize is unlawful in Canada.

Important to note also, is the fact that I was not addressed by name in any of the contacts.

Ironically, that same week, my mother-in-law received a telephone call from an unknown individual stating that her grandson was in trouble and needed her help to post bail. Fortunately, she did not do as asked and called her son and grandson, to confirm this was untrue.

To protect yourself from fraud, never share your credit card, bank account or social insurance numbers with anyone during an unsolicited contact. Also, limit the amount of personal information you post on social media.

If you receive a call and are uncertain about the legitimacy, ask for a telephone number to call the person back and do not feel pressured to respond immediately. Also, never reply to requests from unknown parties requesting personal information from you.

Before making any form of payment to someone representing a financial institution or business, contact the institution directly to verify the caller was legitimate.

If you receive a call that a relative needs your help, connect with other

family members first to verify the information, before taking any kind of action.

If you have been the victim of a scam, report the incident to police and your financial institution. If the fraud took place online, it is possible to report the incident directly to the administrators of the website, through an identified link.

The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre collects information on fraud and identity theft and provides information to the public on past and current scams affecting Canadians. To report a fraud or scam, whether you are a victim or not, you can visit its website at or by call, 1-888-495-8501, toll-free. Sharing your experience with others may help prevent someone else from becoming a victim.

Cindy Murdoch

Cindy Murdoch
Transcona community correspondent

Cindy Murdoch is a community correspondent for Transcona. She can be contacted at

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