What is a Scam ?

Many consumers around the world become victims to online scams. Here is an important guide to help you identify a scam and what to do about it.

Scams are malicious techniques that are used to steal consumer’s personal information and ultimately their money.

Scam techniques include the following:

  • * Dating and romance scams – scammers create fake profiles on legitimate dating websites, mobile apps or social media platforms like Facebook using photos and identities often stolen from other people. They use these profiles to try to enter into a relationship with you that can run for months or even years, just so they can get a hold of your money.
  • * Investment scams come in many forms including cryptocurrency purchase, business ventures, complex financial schemes, and the sale or purchase of shares or property. Scammers dress up ‘opportunities’ with professional looking brochures and websites to mask their fraudulent operations.
  • * Threat and penalty scams – scammers may call you and threaten you with arrest or send you an email claiming you owe money for a speeding fine, a tax office debt or an unpaid bill.
  • * Unexpected money scams such as inheritance, prizes and lotteries. The scammers will typically ask you for a payment for a small fee so that you can gain access to the larger funds.
  • * Job and employment scams – work from home or invest in a new business venture.
  • * Phishing scams are focused in the attempts to steal your online login credentials and gain access to important financial organizations. Typically initiated via emails, this technique grew over the last few decades as computer email adoption grew specifically for online banking access. Please refer to our post “What is phishing“.


What can you do about scams ?

Scams can come in the form of an email, SMS, phone call or even someone at your front door. Regardless of how the scam is sent to you, please follow these simple steps to protect yourself:
* Be alert that scams exist and beware when things are “”too good to be true” scenario.

  • * Keep your personal details secure – use multifactor authentication as is available from your financial institution, utility or government agency.
  • * If you are not sure on the authenticity – Do NOT open suspicious texts, pop-up windows or emails – delete them. If you feel pressured from a caller, hang up and visit the institution physical branch address or alternative go their main website and call the or contact center directly for assistance.
  • * Keep your computer and mobile software updated with the latest patches and make sure you have active Anti-virus software loaded


Where to report scams

The table below provides key organizations per country that can assist with any type of scam. This is not a comprehensive list as there are many more contacts available from banks, financial institutions in general, utilities and online shopping platforms,

Please share any organization that you feel should be included via our Contacts page

GlobalScamadviser https://www.scamadviser.com/
AustraliaAustralian Cyber Security Centrehttps://www.cyber.gov.au/learn/scams
AustraliaACCC / Scamwatch https://www.scamwatch.gov.au/report-a-scam
AustraliaAust Tax Office https://www.cyber.gov.au/learn/scams
AustraliaService NSWhttps://www.service.nsw.gov.au/transaction/report-identity-theft-scams-or-cybercrime
CanadaRoyal Canadian Mounted Policewww.rcmp-grc.ca
CanadaCanadian Anti-Fraud Centrehttps://www.antifraudcentre-centreantifraude.ca/
CanadaReporting Economic Crime On-Linewww.recol.ca
CanadaOffice of the Superintendent of Financial Institutionshttps://www.osfi-bsif.gc.ca/swppws/default.html
CanadaCompetition Bureau Canada Fraud Prevention Forumwww.competitionbureau.gc.ca
CanadaCanadian Council of Better Business Bureauswww.bbb.org/council
IndonesiaPeople's Online Aspirations and Complaints Service (LAPOR!) https://www.lapor.go.id/
IrelandCrime Victims Helplinehttps://www.crimevictimshelpline.ie/after-a-crime/cyber-crime
IrelandCompetition and Consumer Protectionhttps://www.ccpc.ie/consumers/money/scams/
IrelandBank of Irelandhttps://www.bankofireland.com/security-zone/report-fraud/
MalaysiaMalaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC)https://aduan.skmm.gov.my/
MalaysiaBank Negara Malaysiahttps://www.bnm.gov.my/web/financial-fraud-alert/what-you-should-do-if-you-re-a-victim
MalaysiaNational Anti-Financial Crime Centre (NFCC)https://nfcc.jpm.gov.my/
New Zealand Netsafe https://netsafe.org.nz/
New Zealand New Zealand Policehttps://www.police.govt.nz/advice/email-and-internet-safety/internet-scams-spam-and-fraud
New Zealand Dept of Internal Affairshttps://www.dia.govt.nz/Spam-How-to-Report-Scams
New Zealand CERT NZhttps://www.cert.govt.nz/assets/Uploads/documents/Where-to-report-spam-and-scams.pdf
New Zealand Consumer Protectionhttps://www.consumerprotection.govt.nz/general-help/scamwatch/scammed-take-action/
New Zealand Spark NZhttps://www.spark.co.nz/help/privacy-and-safety/scams-safety/report-a-scam
PhilippinesAnti-Cyber Crime Group, Philippine National Policehttps://acg.pnp.gov.ph/main/
PhilippinesDept of Financehttps://www.dof.gov.ph/anti-fraud/
SingaporeScam Alerthttps://www.scamalert.sg/
SingaporeSingapore Police Forcehttps://eservices.police.gov.sg/content/policehubhome/homepage/police-report.html
SingaporeMinistry of Manpowerhttps://www.mom.gov.sg/transact-safely-and-securely
SingaporeCyber Security Agency of Singaporehttps://www.csa.gov.sg/gosafeonline/incident-reporting
United Kingdon (UK)Neighborhood Watchhttps://www.ourwatch.org.uk/protectfromfraud
United Kingdon (UK)Gov UKhttps://www.gov.uk/report-suspicious-emails-websites-phishing
United Kingdon (UK)National Cyber Security Centrehttps://www.ncsc.gov.uk/collection/phishing-scams/report-scam-website
United Kingdon (UK)National Fraud & Cyber Crime Reporting Centrehttps://www.actionfraud.police.uk/
United Kingdon (UK)Citizens Advicehttps://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/consumer/scams/reporting-a-scam/
USAFederal Bureau of Investigation www.fbi.gov
USAInternet Crime Complaint Center www.ic3.gov
USAFederal Deposit Insurance Corporation www.fdic.gov
USAU.S. government - Department of Justice www.usdoj.gov
USABetter Business Bureau www.bbb.org
USANational Fraud Information Center www.fraud.org
USANational White Collar Crime Center www.nw3c.org
USAScambusters www.scambusters.org