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In 2017, Canadians lost more than $95-million as a result of scams, and that number is rising each year. Between 2015 and 2016, money lost to scams jumped 50 per cent.

A recent ad circulating online claims CTV personality Marilyn Denis is leaving her show to concentrate on a skincare line. This claim is completely false. The ad directs people to a website to buy a skin cream, but Marilyn has nothing to do with any beauty product, as verified (by Marilyn herself) in the below Instagram video.

Other Canadian television personalities have been targets of similar fake ad campaigns.

Tech expert Amber MacArthur says there are ways to protect yourself from scams like these. Here’s a breakdown of what to look for, how to report them, and what you need to know to make sure you don’t get caught up in one.

POPULAR SCAMS

  • E-commerce
  • Prize: Scammers try to get you to provide your personal info to enter in a draw and try to tempt you with a free giveaway.
  • Loans: Scammers are looking to collect your personal information.
  • Romance: We’re seeing more of these scams as the online dating industry grows. It’s a good entry point for scammers to get your personal information.

HOW TO SPOT A SCAM

Social media

When it comes to social media platforms, the most important thing is to check official sources. Look for authentic comments and verified accounts. If there is no reinforcement on other reputable social media sites, it’s likely a scam. Check elsewhere online (like the company’s website) to see if you can find other information to back up claims.

Websites

Many scammers are getting much more sophisticated in terms of how they build their website (i.e. less spelling mistakes, better graphics, etc…) Check verified social media channels to see if a person or company is legitimately offering what you’ve seen in a banner ad. Ask and report. Only buy from reputable e-commerce websites (i.e. Amazon).

To learn about the latest scams, visit GetCyberSafe.ca, where there are updates on popular and timely scams.

REPORTING SCAMS

Here’s what you need to know to report scams on social media:

  • On Twitter, submit feedback on this page.
  • On Facebook, go to the page you want to report. Under the cover photo, click on the three dots and select ‘Report’.
  • On Instagram, go to the profile you want to report, click on the three dots and select ‘Report’.

You can also report any scam to the Better Business Bureau.