Scams and scamming: Updates

A post that I wrote some years ago, about scams and scamming, is among the most frequently visited posts at my website.

I originally posted the item, which is about door-to-door energy scams, on the advice of the late Phil Gray, a Second World War veteran, author, and journalist whom I never met in person but got to know through online conversations.

The fact that many people have read the post about energy scams is of interest. Similarly, when I wrote a blog about Erving Goffman some years ago, it would not have occurred to me that this post has been read by many people.

Among other topics that have attracted many readers has been posts anything about Graeme Decarie, whom I knew when he was a high school teacher at Malcolm Campbell High School in Montreal.

Updates about scams and scamming and related topics

A Dec. 11, 2014 CBC article is entitled: “‘Sharing economy’ benefits may not live up to hype: Janice Stein: Strip away the buzz, and there are big questions about the sustainability of this new economic model.”

Another Dec. 11, 2014 CBC article is entitled: “Florida spa that treated First Nations girls with cancer faces lawsuits from ex-staff: Director Brian Clement giving false hope, putting patients at risk, nurse says.”

A March 4, 2015 CBC article is entitled: ” ‘Microsoft tech support’ scammer recorded threatening to kill B.C. man: Canadians tricked into paying $347 million every year in biggest telephone scam in the country.”

An April 17, 2015 Toronto Star article is entitled: “Don’t be fooled by pitch to switch: Roseman: Warm weather brings people to your door to upgrade your heating equipment. Know who your supplier is. Don’t be fooled.”

A May 18, 2015 CBC The Current article is entitled: ” ‘Empire of Deception’ tells story of master swindler Leo Koretz.”

A May 22, 2015 New York Times article is entitled: What’s Behind Big Science Frauds?

A June 4, 2015 CBC Doc Zone video about scams can be accessed here >

A Jan. 19, 2016 CBC The Current broadcast segment is entitled: “Hooked on a feeling: inside the con artist’s confidence game.”

An accompanying text reads:

Why is it that people who are otherwise smart and rational keep getting sucked-in by the con artist’s magic? From snake oil… to e-mail scams, New Yorker writer Maria Konnikova gets inside the con artist’s head in her book, “The Confidence Game.” 25:30

A Feb. 10, 2016 CBC article is entitled: “‘Shadow flipping’ not limited to Vancouver real estate market: This controversial real estate move is leaving some homeowners feeling scammed.”

A Feb. 26, 2016 CBC article is entitled: “Canada Revenue Agency scam calls and emails have many red flags: ‘We would never do surprise calls,’ says CRA spokesperson Desmond Arsenault.”

A March 10, 2017 CBC article is entitled: “‘We do it because our jobs are at stake’: TD bank employees admit to breaking the law for fear of being fired.”

A March 10, 2017 CBC article is entitled: “Undercover investigation finds big markups, confusing charges and pushy tactics at major funeral home chain: Arbor says it ‘does not condone any behaviour in our staff that results in customers feeling pressured'”.

A March 13, 2017 CBC article is entitled: “‘I felt like a fool’: Convicted fraudster dupes small town with reality show promises: Residents of Dunnville, Ont., chipped in more than $2,000 to help put their community on the map.”

A March 15, 2017 CBC article is entitled: “‘We are all doing it’: Employees at Canada’s 5 big banks speak out about pressure to dupe customers: Calls for parliamentary inquiry following Go Public investigation.”

A March 29, 2017 CBC article is entitled: “‘I feel duped’: Why bank employees with impressive but misleading titles could cost you big time: Most financial professionals in Canada are licensed as salespeople with no fiduciary duty to clients.”

An April 17, 2017 CBC article is entitled: “‘Canada is in the Dark Ages’: Investment insiders reveal how lax laws put your financial interests last: Despite years of calls for reform, financial industry opposes greater investor protection.”

A May 11, 2017 CBC article is entitled: “‘A very disheartening day’: Most of Canada’s regulators abandon plan to put your financial interests first: Only securities regulators in Ontario and New Brunswick still interested in a statutory best interest standard.”

Scamming – or you can use some other word if you wish – can take many forms:

A May 11, 2017 CBC article is entitled: “Why Canada is wasting millions on useless knee surgeries: ‘Overwhelming evidence’ arthroscopic surgery ineffective for arthritic knees, expert panel says.”

A May 11, 2017 Toronto Star article is entitled: “Diamond & Diamond’s top lawyer faces professional misconduct probe: The Law Society of Upper Canada alleges that Jeremy Diamond failed to co-operate fully with an investigation by failing to produce financial records from his firm.”

A May 15, 2017 CBC article is entitled: “Credit union employees say high-pressure sales targets turn ‘members’ into ‘marks’: Workers describe same pressure to upsell as their counterparts at the big banks.”

A May 19, 2017 CBC article is entitled: “Opioid conflict-of-interest controversy reveals extent of big pharma’s ties to doctors: Financial ties between doctors, hospitals and the pharma field are widely accepted — but rarely discussed.”

A May 22, 2017 CBC article is entitled: “Scammers convince senior he’s funding terrorism in elaborate con job: More than $100K of victim’s debt forgiven after Go Public’s inquiries.”

A June 4, 2017 CBC article is entitled: “Are your financial documents being forged? CBC’s Marketplace consumer cheat sheet.”

A March 1, 2018 CBC article is entitled: “Company Statements: Duped at the door?”

A March 15, 2018 CBC article is entitled: “Ontario man accused of targeting ‘most vulnerable members of the globe’ with Syrian refugee scam: Halton Regional Police charge Bashar Abdulahad, 49, with 8 counts of fraud over $5,000 and money laundering.”

A March 26, 2018 CBC article is entitled: “Canadians continue to be fooled by website that mimics government agency: Paying hundreds of dollars, Canadians share personal and passport information with online companies.”

A March 30, 2018 Scientific American article is entitled: “Cambridge Analytica and Online Manipulation: It’s not just about data protection; it’s about strategies designed to induce addictive behavior, and thus to manipulate.”

A March 6, 2019 Toronto Star article is entitled: “Toronto Hydro warns customers after a spike in reported scams.”

A Nov. 15, 2019 CBC article is entitled: “Telescammers not only want your money. They’re also after your phone number.”

A Nov. 17, 2020 CBC article is entitled: “Hacking attacks on government growing more sophisticated, intelligence agency warns.”

An excerpt reads:

The CSE’s cyber centre provides the outermost layer of the government’s online defences by detecting threats at the network level. The host-based sensor program is the inner layer of defence, warning system administrators when it detects something out of the ordinary on a government server.

While most malware and phishing attempts are detected by the government’s frontline security, Jones said, those types of scams are becoming more sophisticated.

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