Protect Yourself From False and Misleading AdvertisingEnglish | Français
In Canada, there are laws that prohibit misleading advertising and deceptive marketing practices. Fraudsters for example try to take advantage of people by providing information – including false claims – to convince people to share their personal and financial information. This page has information and tips to help you spot false and misleading advertising.
As a consumer, it’s important to do your due diligence before making purchasing decisions. To help you spot false and misleading advertising, keep the following in mind:
- Be wary of any offer that sounds too good to be true. For example, a product or service advertised for a significantly lower price than competitors, without a reason.
- Question ads that make claims that are not supported by evidence.
- Do not take before and after photos for products or services at face value as these can easily be manipulated.
- Do not immediately believe product reviews, endorsements or testimonials as some sellers may fake these or pay for positive reviews.
- Read the fine print for details or conditions that could alter the value of an offer.
- Do your research and consult official resources such as Canadian regulatory bodies that monitor and enforce laws against false and misleading advertising. Their websites often contain alerts and information about known scams or misleading practices in the marketplace.
- Check that a company is authentic and exists. Verify contact details, search complaints online and be cautious of ads from unverified accounts that claim to be tied to well-known brands.
Canada’s Competition Bureau monitors the marketplace and takes action to stop false and misleading advertising claims.
If you believe that a company or individual is making false and misleading advertising claims, you can report it directly to the Competition Bureau here.
If you see or suspect illegal drug or device marketing, you can file a complaint with Health Canada here.
You may also reach out to the CMA for advice and assistance.
Note on price gouging: Provincial governments, to varying degrees, are prohibiting companies from charging you unfair prices for necessary goods. If you want to report price gouging, head to your provincial government’s website to find out more.
- Competition Bureau:
False or misleading representations