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Online Scams

Online scams vary widely and incorporate other scams such as telemarketing, mass market, CRA, business frauds, and many others. 

For example, a common email scam that has been reported in Edmonton recently involves fraudsters who present themselves as if they are authoritative figures or organizations who can send traffic violations via email. They provide a specific monetary value for the receiver's ticket and basic details of the alleged traffic-related offense, and provide a link to a website that looks identical to the official online service that citizens use to pay certain traffic fines. This is a scam!

Remember: traffic fines cannot be emailed to you. You will either receive a traffic violation ticket in person by an officer or by regular postal services. Read more on online safety.

Test your online safety knowledge and learn more from our Stay Secure Online module.

Here are some of the most common online scams being used:

  • Continuity Scams – Largely take place when someone who is online observes a pop-up or advertisement offering a free trial or free gift upon completion of a survey
  • Protect Yourself Online – Identity theft refers to acquiring and collecting someone else’s personal information for criminal purposes
  • Deceptive Marketing of Counterfeit Goods – Fraudsters trick consumers into buying counterfeit goods at discounted prices through spoofed websites
  • Overpayment Scams – A seller receives a cheque from the purchaser for an amount over what is owed, and is asked to wire the excess funds to a third party
  • Buying and Selling Merchandise – Involves scams related to buying and selling goods purchased online. See our Online Buyer Beware Campaign for more
  • Loan Scams – Any false, deceptive, misleading or fraudulent solicitation involving the advertisement of a loan
  • Extortion Scams – Any person who unlawfully obtains money, property or services from a person, entity, or institution, through coercion
  • Prize Scams – Any false, deceptive, misleading or fraudulent solicitation advising victims they have won – or have a chance to win – a prize
  • Investment Scams - Any false, deceptive, misleading or fraudulent investment opportunity, often offering higher than normal return
  • Vacation Scams - Any false, deceptive, misleading or fraudulent solicitation in which an advance fee is required to secure or hold a vacation
  • Service Scams - Any false, deceptive, misleading or fraudulent promotion or solicitation for services  
  • Rental Scam - Any false, deceptive, misleading or fraudulent solicitation in which an advance fee is required to secure or hold a rental property    
  • Romance Scams - Any individual with false romantic intentions:
 

If you've been a victim call the Edmonton Police Service immediately at 780-423-4567 or #377 from your mobile phone. If you're a victim of fraud, do not be afraid to come forward. You are not alone. We are here to help you.

To report a fraud, please contact the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre online or at 1-888-495-8501.