Beware of vacation offers from callers claiming to represent well-known companies

Warning: Have you been offered a discounted vacation for a week's stay at a resort over the phone? Some individuals and agencies are calling Canadians and claiming to be affiliated with a well-known company, such as Air Miles, WestJet, Hilton Hotels, Marriott Hotels or Air Canada.

Be aware that these calls are misleading. The callers in question have not been authorized by these companies to make these calls on their behalf.

What's happening: A recorded message will inform you that your telephone number was selected by one of the companies listed above. You are then asked to "press 1" in order to speak with a representative who will offer you a vacation. The callers also display a false callback number (a practice known as caller identification spoofing).

What you can do: We encourage you to file a complaint with the National Do Not Call List (DNCL) or call 1-866-580-DNCL (3625). You can help us investigate these calls by providing as much information as possible, such as:

If you are not on the National Do Not Call List and want to reduce the amount of unwanted telemarketing calls you receive, we also encourage you to register your number.

If you received a call and are not sure of the caller's true identity, you should not provide any personal information, including your telephone number. Finally, if you receive a call that you think may be fraudulent, contact your local police or the Canadian Anti Fraud Centre (1-888-495-8501), a national service jointly operated by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the Ontario Provincial Police and the Competition Bureau.

Penalties for violating the Rules

The CRTC takes violations of the National DNCL and the Unsolicited Telecommunications Rules seriously. If found in violation, individuals can be issued penalties of up to $1,500 per violation; corporations can be issued penalties of up to $15,000 per violation.

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