March 22, 2023: We're noticing an increase in reports of fraudulent emails claiming to be service providers. The emails may ask you to call a phone number to avoid "auto-renewal" or to cancel a payment. This is a service scam! Do not call the customer service number listed. If in doubt, research the contact information for the company and contact them directly.
This is a screenshot of a service scam invoice sent by email. The invoice has a recognized service provider logo, the date and an invoice number. This specific message says "Thank you for choosing [company name] your annual subscription is expired and Auto Renewed as per your plan. We would thank you for the completion of 12-months maintenance plan." It goes on to display how much you're being charged for an anti-virus security subscription. It then has a customer service number for you to call. This message is a scam.
- Phone and fax
- In person
There are a variety of service scams, including:
- Financial services
- Tech support scams
- Immigration scams
Some of the more common service scams reported to us include:
- Air duct cleaning
- Cellphone service provider
- Help with government documents
- Immigration website
- Low interest rate offers
- Tech support
Air duct cleaning
A scammer offers services that include air duct cleaning or furnace/boiler repairs at very low rates. If the company completes the services:
- they are of low quality
- the warranties are invalid
- the repairs can cause potential risks
Cellphone service provider
A fraudster calls and claims to be from a cellphone service provider. They offer a deal that's too good to be true. The fraudsters proceed to ask for the victim's personal information including their Social Insurance Number (SIN) and Driver's License number. They will then:
- Use your personal information for identity fraud
- Order a cellphone using your identity
- Order a cellphone and have it shipped to the victim but then tell you it was the wrong cellphone and you need to ship it back to the criminal's address
If you get a call from your service provider, tell them that you will call them back and end the call. Look up the legitimate phone number for the company and communicate with them directly by always making the outgoing call.
Help with government documents
For a fee, a website offers services to help you:
- get a passport
- get a birth certificate
- book a driver's road test
The website may promise faster processing times or other guarantees.
The forms needed to get government identification are free. No one can speed up the process.
Scammers create fake websites and online ads that offer "cheap" immigration services or even may "guarantee" high paying jobs. Many of the websites will look like official government sites.
Beware if they are asking you to pay for application access fees or deposits before the application is even started.
Learn more about immigration scams and fraud.
Low interest rate offers
A scammer offers reduced interest rates on credit cards or line of credit. They request personal information from you, such as your:
- Social Insurance Number (SIN)
- mother's maiden name
- date of birth
- credit card information
In most instances, the scammers request a one-time fee for the service.
The scammers do not have the ability to lower interest rates. They're stealing your personal information and/or your money.
For a fee, a website offers services to help you get a pardon or criminal record waiver. The website may promise faster processing times or other guarantees.
The forms required to obtain a pardon are free. No one can speed up the waiver process.
Common resale scams target automobiles, timeshares and rental or property listing. Typically, you'll get a call after posting something for sale online. The scammer claims to have a buyer and offers their help to sell the item, for a fee. If you pay, you learn there is no buyer and your money is gone.
A scammer claims a virus has infected your computer. The communication might happen through:
- Alarming website pop-ups that demand you call a number urgently
- Unsolicited telephone calls (they may claim to be a Microsoft or other well-known computer company employee)
The scammer states that your computer is sending out viruses or has been hacked and must be serviced. They request access to your computer and may run programs or alter settings.
The scammer asks you to pay a fee for fixing your computer via credit card or money transfer. In some cases, the scammer asks you to log into your bank account to transfer funds.
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