[size=3]Social Media Sites Targeted by Competition Bureau in International Sweep
OTTAWA, September 24, 2010 — The Competition Bureau announced today that it is participating, with members of the International Consumer Protection and Enforcement Network (ICPEN), in a joint Internet sweep to expose fraudulent and deceptive advertising on social networking sites.
More than 16 million Canadians are active users of social media sites. Marketers and advertisers have targeted these platforms. The international sweep is designed to identify unscrupulous fraudsters who may use social media sites to target those most likely to fall victim to their scams.
Here are some tips on how to avoid getting caught up in an Internet scam:
Be vigilant when evaluating ads, sending money or giving credit card or account details.
Know who you are dealing with. Be aware of any unsolicited phone calls, emails, text messages or letters from unknown sources.
Search for the company, the individuals, the product or the offer on the Internet and verify any contact and company details.
Trustworthy businesses will rarely contact you, particularly by email, phone or text message, to ask for personal details, banking or financial information.
Keep in mind that wiring money is like sending cash – the sender has no protection against loss.
Beware of ads that promise too much – if it sounds to good to be true, it probably is!
Consumers should also take measures to protect themselves in the online environment. It is important to install reputable computer security software and keep it up to date. Use a spam filter and a firewall to avoid malicious software damaging your computer and stealing your personal information. Consumers should also avoid clicking on links to Web sites contained in unsolicited emails or online messages.
Consumers who believe that they have been a victim of deceptive practices on the Internet can register their complaint at (http://www.competitionbureau.gc.ca/eic/site/cb-bc.nsf/frm-eng/GHÉT-7TDNA5)