Knowledge is power in the fight against fraud

Mar 25, 2021
Deceptive Standards

Businesses are finding themselves in the crosshairs of fraudsters more than ever. A lot of effort and time is spent to thwart efforts that can hurt not just the bottom line but have other far-reaching implications.

Consumer trust is vital for brands. The CMA’s President and CEO recently said that fraud throws off the equilibrium in a relationship because it unseats trust. It is in the best interest of legitimate businesses to take all necessary precautions and measures to protect themselves and their customers from fraud.  

In addition to remaining vigilant about phishing, ransomware, impersonation, ad fraud and tech support scams, here are three common marketing-related scams aimed at businesses. Be on guard about any of these topics.

Intellectual property

Any emails that demand immediate payment to protect your business’ intellectual property rights should be met with skepticism and flagged internally before any action is taken.

For marketers and agencies that deal with trademarks this is especially relevant. The Canadian Intellectual Property Office is the agency responsible for IP rights and services including trademarks, patents, copyright and more. If in doubt about the legitimacy of an IP warning, contact them directly through the information found on their website and not through any contact details in the e-mail provided.

Online reviews

Any offers to alter online reviews to improve your rating on a website is a red flag. Publishing misleading or false advertising representations that masquerade as authentic experience and opinions of consumers is prohibited and can ultimately lead to legal action and reputational damage.

Directory listing

This scam attempts to rope a business into paying for a listing or for ad space in a non-existent directory or, a legitimate directory that does not get distributed as promised and has no real value. Fraudsters will follow-up with an invoice after an initial outreach, and even have an altered recording of an individual agreeing to the services. It’s important to never rush into any agreement: follow internal processes and verify all orders and invoices.

It is more important than ever for businesses to be proactive in their fraud prevention measures, and that starts with staying informed. For more scams that affect businesses, check out the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre website. To read about fraud prevention tips, including how to build an anti-fraud plan, for businesses and not-for-profits, visit the Competition Bureau’s website

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Florentina Stancu-Soare

Senior Manager, Regulatory and Consumer Affairs Canadian Marketing Association





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