In 2017, fraudulent web sites appeared offering unwitting consumers deep discounts on Canada Goose jackets. The sites were shut down, but on-line purchase frauds continue for other products.

Too good to be true? Probably.

Be careful when buying on-line

Commanding Officer Sergeant Barbara Holley of the Vanderhoof RCMP detachment reported this week that the CRA scam had once again surfaced in Vanderhoof. It’s one of a plethora of scams that plague the world but, according to Holley, thanks to the work of police and the media, the majority of people in Canada are aware that the Canadian Revenue Service does not call people and threaten them with arrest unless they are immediately sent money (often in the form of bit coin or even iTunes cards).

Similarly, most people are aware that there really isn’t a prince in Nigeria wanting to send them millions of dollars in return for a small handling fee.

Yet the battle is far from over, according to Evan Kelly, Senior Communications Advisor for the Better Business Bureau (BBB) serving mainland B.C. The BBB recently released its list of top ten scams and their surveys indicated a shift in the scamming landscape.

It seems the common telephone and internet scams that have received the bulk of the attention in the media may not be the greatest threat to the population. According to the BBB’s Scam Tracker the greatest threat to unwitting victims are scams related to on-line purchases.

“The problem is ubiquitous, and its a form of fraud that many people are not on guard against in the same way as they might be aware of the CRA scam or the Nigerian prince scam,” said Kelly.

“With the increasing popularity of on-line shopping, the door has been opened to scams and frauds of all kinds, and we’re at the point where we are trying to educate people of the potential dangers of on-line purchasing.”

It’s not that the concept of on-line shopping is a bad one, added Kelly, noting that reputable retailers and companies like Amazon have a well deserved reputation for quality and integrity and have policies in place to protect consumers.

The problem arises when fraud artists create counterfeit websites where deeply discounted goods are offered.

One example noted by Kelly involved Canada Goose jackets.

“These are jackets generally priced at about $800 or more but, in 2017, websites started showing up offering the jackets at a fraction of that price. Some consumers didn’t even know they’d been bounced to a fraudulent site because the page still looked like the original site. But the Canada Goose site had been hacked and consumers were being sent to a fraudulent site where they would be cheated of their money.”

Sometimes the scammers will simply take payment for items and never ship the material, but others do ship counterfeit, low quality knock-offs of the high end items.

“The old rule of, ‘if it looks too good to be true, it probably isn’t’ still applies,” said Kelly.

But the BBB has some tips for consumers to help them avoid being the next victim of on-line fraudsters.

First, make certain that you are dealing with a reputable website.

In the case of the Canada Goose scam, consumers had been moved from to a site named The insertion of the “n” between “Canada” and “goose” was hard to spot unless consumers were on the lookout for the scam.

Kelly explained that consumers should watch the IP addresses of sites, but also be aware of simple cues like spelling errors or unprofessional language within the text on the sites.

“Another option for consumers is to use a credit card with a reimbursement policy that covers consumers who have been defrauded in an on-line purchase. For them, it’s a cost of doing business,” said Kelly.

“And finally, don’t feel pressured. If you see an offer where you have to respond immediately in order to qualify for the product, then it’s probably wise to move on. Reputable sellers do not generally pressure their customers in that way, and if they do, they should expect to lose the sale.”

Just Posted

Elderly woman struck and killed by train in Vanderhoof

At approximately 4:30 pm June 21, 2018, an elderly woman was struck… Continue reading

District of Vanderhoof contracts YMCA for aquatic centre

Announcement brings mixed reaction from community

Community and collaboration drive Binche Fishing Derby

Family time, forward thinking and positive initiatives to be highlighted

Nechako Valley Exhibition holding regional talent competition

Solo vocalists and instrumentalists wanted

Audit finds Canfor did not comply with bridge maintenance legislation

Per a news release issued by the Forest Practices board, an independent… Continue reading

VIDEO: Canadian toddler caught practising hockey skills in crib

Eli Graveline is getting praise from far and wide as the internet freaks out of cute throwback video

Man shot dead in Surrey ID’d as hockey coach and father of two

Paul Bennett was ‘a champion for the sport,’ team manager says

Canadian Syrian children’s choir not to attend festival over fears about U.S. travel

Many kids are recent immigrants from countries covered by Trump travel ban

B.C. teacher ends Jeopardy! winning streak, taking home US$69,000

Ali Hasan, from New Westminster, has been gaining fans as a “one-man invasion,” says Alex Trebek

Jett Woo highlights 5 Canucks choices on Day 2 of NHL entry draft

WHL star out of Moose Jaw tabbed in Round 2

In a matter of hours, women in Saudi Arabia will be allowed to drive

Change was announced as a royal decree in 2017 by Crown Prince Mohammen bin Salman

Feds announce measures to protect endangered whale species

Canada’s Whale Initiative is part of the federal government’s $1.5 billion Ocean Protection Plan

COC session vote approves Calgary as potential host for 2026 Olympics

Scott Hutcheson, chair of Calgary’s Olympic bid corporation — called vote a positive step forward

Most Read