How to protect yourself from scammers
The CRTC manages the National Do Not Call List (DNCL) and enforces the Unsolicited Telecommunications Rules.
Unwanted calls may violate these rules, even if they offer a legitimate product or service.
Canadians should also be aware that callers can falsely claim to provide products or services. These scammers often claim to represent legitimate companies or government organizations in an attempt to trick you into buying products or services that you don’t need or that don’t exist. They can also ask you to give them your financial and other personal information.
Scammers of all kinds can obtain your telephone number fraudulently or from public lists, such as a phone book. As a result, you can receive scam calls even if you have an unlisted number, or you have registered your number on the National DNCL.
A decision was issued to set out findings on technical solutions that Canadians could use to protect themselves from unwanted unsolicited and illegitimate calls. The CRTC is directing service providers to develop solutions to block nuisance calls within their network. Service providers must also report back to the CRTC, within 180 days, from the date of this decision, with details of the filtering services they offer, or intend to offer, to their subscribers. This is to ensure that all Canadians have a base level of protection against the most illegitimate nuisance calls.
On this page
- How to avoid unwanted calls
- How to protect yourself from scams
- What to do if you think you’ve been scammed
- How to recognize suspected scams
How to avoid unwanted calls
- Register your phone numbers with the National DNCL or call 1-866-580-DNCL (3625).
- Use these tips to reduce unwanted calls
- Learn about call management features
How to protect yourself from scams
To protect yourself from scams:
- NEVER give an unsolicited caller access to your computer. If you receive an unexpected phone call about your computer system’s security status or performance, and the caller requests remote access to your computer, hang up – even if the caller claims to represent a well-known company or product.
- Don’t give out personal information. Do not give out credit card or online account details over the phone, unless you made the call and the number you are calling came from a trusted source.
- Protect your computer. Make sure your computer is protected with regularly updated anti-virus and anti-spyware software, and a good firewall. But research first, and only purchase software from a source you know and trust.
What to do if you think you’ve been scammed
If you think you have fallen victim to a scam, that you have given remote access to your computer to a suspected scammer, or that your computer has been hacked:
- Alert your financial institution. If you have provided your account details to a scammer, contact your bank or financial institution immediately and let them know.
- Get further assistance. Contact the Canadian Identity Theft Support Centre or call 1-866-436-5461.
- Get qualified computer help. If you have computer problems, seek help or advice from a qualified and reputable computer technician.
- File a complaint. You can report unwanted telemarketing calls at National DNCL or call 1-866-580-DNCL (3625).
- Contact law enforcement. If you think the call might be part of a fraud scheme, contact law enforcement authorities or the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre (formerly PhoneBusters) or call 1-888-495-8501.
How to recognize suspected scams
The CRTC is aware of several suspected scams, and is publicizing them as a preventive measure. Current suspected scams include:
- Scammers offering vacation deals. Unsolicited phone calls claiming to be legitimate companies such as Air Miles or WestJet selling cheap vacations.
- Scammers alleging to be Google. Unsolicited phone calls alleging that your Google Business listing is about to expire.
- Scammers offering free psychic consultations. Unsolicited phone calls claiming you’ve won a free psychic consultation and directing you to call a 1-900 number.
- How to spot a tech support scam. Tech support scammers use various techniques to trick people. Find out what you can do to detect fraudsters.
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