Fraud and scams: How to spot them and stay safe
January 28, 2020

Imagine you get a call from someone claiming to be a government agent, threatening you and demanding payment for supposedly dropping a class without consent.

That is one common fraudster scheme, according to Canadian Security magazine.

We want all of Georgian’s students to be safe, and the best way to protect yourself from fraud is to stay informed.

Common types of scams:

Some of the most common types of fraud and scams in Canada include:

  • Phishing: An email from a bank or a service provider that looks and sounds legitimate, but isn’t.
  • Emergency scam: Someone emails claiming to be a friend or relative in urgent need of cash to get out of trouble.
  • Extortion: These scammers use every trick in the book to persuade you to give up money, services or even property. They contact you by phone, text messages, emails or social media messages.
  • Fake surveys: A “survey” that pops up on your computer while you’re online. They will always offer a “free trial” in exchange for banking information.
  • Employment fraud: These scammers use online classified websites like Kijiji, Craigslist, Monster, Indeed, and Workopolis to recruit potential victims. The most common scams include Mystery Shopper and HR/Administrative jobs.

How to spot fraud:

Does the offer sound too good to be true? It probably is.

Here are some other tips from the Government of Canada to help identify scams and stay safe:

  • Review all fine print and terms and conditions before making a purchase.
  • Make sure to search for the offer online to see if anybody has suggested it is a scam.
  • Beware of paid advertisements online. Paid banner ads are not always affiliated with the website you are viewing.
  • Before you send any funds or products, contact the person who requested the transfer in person or by telephone. Confirm the request is legitimate.
  • Be cautious of unusual or irregular email requests.
  • Never click on links or open attachments in unsolicited emails.
  • Review credit card statements regularly for unauthorized charges.
Person looks at a laptop screen with the word "Security" overhead.

How to report fraud:

If you think you’ve been a target of fraud, you can report it to The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre by calling 1-888-495-8501 or at its website,

If you file a complaint, keep all evidence in a safe place. Examples of that evidence include text messages, credit card receipts, phone bills, money order receipts, and notes taken during transactions.


Need help on campus? Contact our Campus Safety Services.