Canadians Were Scammed By Fake Websites For Real Companies

Banner of warning that Canadians were scammed by fake websites

An online scam that involved multiple fake site domains has stolen thousands from innocent customers, with travel-seekers and fashion shoppers among the most commonly duped groups.

An X from Flight Centre Canada in October last year raised awareness of the issue: “This is your captain speaking 👩‍✈️ Be cautious of fraudulent websites, social media accounts, store listings and phone numbers. To make a secure booking with Canadian Flight Centre locations and travel consultants, please verify our contact information at the official website.”

Since then, the platform has been grappling with hundreds of rip-off sites.

Indeed, one man, Ihsan Abdul Salam, described how he lost more than $2,000 in one purchase alone.

Talking to an online news website, he revealed he had bought tickets to see his girlfriend in Sao Paulo but thought something was fishy when he tried to contact the site.

“It was very strange … they told me 'don't call anybody, we can send you the original ticket, just give us time. I felt something was wrong.”

After waiting for some time for flight ticket confirmation, a step that usually occurs straight away with the official platform, he decided to go to a Flight Centre branch to look into it. It was there he got the bad news that the site was a fake.

It’s not just Flight Centre. One hat enthusiast found himself without protection from the sun after purchasing a hat via a bogus site.

Reza Bacchus, from Calgary, spotted a Stetson Hat he liked the look of, and opened the purse strings to have it delivered. He visited the StetsonHatCanada.com website and purchased it.

After spending $100, he didn’t hear anything for more than a month. It wasn’t until he reached out to the legitimate Stetson.com website that he received confirmation of the scam. He wasn’t the only one to be caught out.

“"I got a disappointing but a friendly email [from Stetson.com]... they had received emails concerning this unauthorized website."

Awareness Is The Best Antidote

Experts claim the best way to fight egregious and fraudulent behaviour from online scammers is widespread knowledge and understanding.

Toronto-based lawyer and cyber-security analyst Ritesh Kotak said: “I deal with local businesses all the time that call me up and say that there is a site trying to imitate them. The only thing you can really do is, if you come across these sites then report.”

Melanie Anderson, from the Canadian Centre for Cyber Security, added: “If you think you've been scammed or you're on a malicious website, report that to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre. As we see things and identify them as confirmed malicious, then we're able to take those down.”

What Are Tell Tale Signs A Site Is A Scam?

There are certain things to look for before doing business with a deep fake site.

Here is some of the research you can conduct:

  • Check if it is a fake US phone number. A simple dial should give you all the information you need.
  • ou can also check for fake WhatsApp communication. Send a message and wait for those two ticks to appear blue to see if it's been delivered.
  • Poor spelling and grammar: One of the most obvious signs of a fake website is poor spelling and grammar. Legitimate websites usually have high-quality content that is free of typos and grammatical errors.
  • Do your due diligence before you buy fake money online.

Please remember to prioritize your safety and verify all sources. Rest assured, CasinoCanada will never request money or to register with your personal security number.

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Lewis Constable
Expert Writer
Staffordshire University
Single Honours Journalism. Expertise in telling stories concisely and accurately. A focus on responsible gambling marketing with an innate and in-depth understanding of compliance in multiple regions.
Expert in:
  • Latest Gambling News and Trends
  • iGaming Content
Reviewed by Head of Content:
Dmitry Rogalchuk
Last updated on: 02.05.2024

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