These FAQs are provided by the Canadian Legal FAQs, a website of the Centre for Public Legal Education Alberta. They provide answers to questions about consumer law in Alberta including the Fair Trading Act, collections and debt repayment, cost of credit disclosure, and credit and personal reports. See also FAQs on Contracts and Consumer Information
A scam, or consumer fraud, occurs when someone lies or deceives to make a profit or to gain an advantage from someone else’s loss. Identity theft is a type of consumer fraud. These resources can help you to recognize a possible scam, to protect yourself from fraud and to learn what you can do if you have been a victim of fraud.
The resources on this page were hand-picked by the Centre for Public Legal Education Alberta's team of librarians as a good place to start.
You may also find helpful resources listed under the legal topic: Consumer protection and fraud
CPLEA Suggested Resources
Not sure where to begin finding answers to your questions. Get started with our suggested resources. See additional resources below for more information.
In Alberta, most companies that sell products door-to-door must be licensed under the Consumer Protection Act and the Direct Selling Business Licensing Regulation. Door-to-door sales people sell everything from encyclopedias and magazines to home improvements. If a contract is signed in person,negotiated or concluded away from the seller’s usual place of business, it is considered a direct sale. Note: Effective January 1, 2017, the Government of Alberta banned door-to-door sales of furnaces and related products and services including water heaters, air conditioners, windows, energy contracts and energy audits. See: https://www.servicealberta.ca/pdf/tipsheets/Door_to_Door_Energy_related_Sales.pdf for more information.
This is a publication of the Alberta Council on Aging produced to educate seniors on being informed and safe from financial fraud.
When someone uses personal information such as your name, Social Insurance number (SIN), credit card number or other identifying information without your knowledge or permission, it is identity theft and it is a crime. This tipsheet provides information on: how businesses and community groups can raise awarenes of identity theft, how to protect your identity when you are away from home, and how to report ID theft.
This guide is produced by the Centre for Public Legal Education Alberta and is intended to help you find out information about consumer frauds and scams that could affect you. If you have already been impacted by one of these schemes or think you might have been, contact information for agencies that can help you has also been included.
The Consumer Protection Act protects consumers from unfair business practices before, during or after a consumer transaction. See also: Canadian Legal FAQs on Alberta consumer protections at https://www.law-faqs.org/alberta-faqs/consumer-law/
The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre (CAFC) is the central agency in Canada that collects information and criminal intelligence on mass marketing fraud (telemarketing), advance fee fraud letters, internet fraud and identity theft complaints. Their website provides descriptions of many types of scams. Anti-fraud specialists in their Call Centre provide advice on the steps that victims should take to recover lost funds and to protect themselves in the future. The CFAC (formerly PhoneBusters) is jointly managed by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the Ontario Provincial Police, and the Competition Bureau of Canada.
Fraud Squad TV (Fraudcast.ca) is an educational website offering videos, examples and explanations of a broad range of types of fraud, ranging from Adoption Fraud to Wi-Fi Fraud. Videos are arranged by topic in alphabetical order on the left, for easy navigation. There are also links for you to add your experience of fraud, as well as a Help Me! page, which helps you understand whether or not you have been the victim of fraud and tells you what to do if you have.
This page from the multi-jurisdictional Consumer Measures Committee working group addresses the serious concern that identity theft poses for consumers. It includes links to a Consumer Identity Theft Kit and a Business Identity Theft Kit.
This fact sheet from the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Canada lists how to fight identity theft and what to do if you are a victim of identity theft
This comprehensive resource from the RCMP describes sixteen Internet scams, twelve in-person scams, and three telephone scams. It also includes illustrative scenarios along with a glossary and a list of useful links.
Learn more about how to recognize a scam. The site provides examples of fraudulent communications and how to protect yourself from identity theft
Every year, Canadians lose millions of dollars to the activities of scammers who bombard us with online, mail, door-to-door and telephone scams. The Little Black Book of Scams is a reference guide with information Canadians can use to personally protect themselves. It offers information on how a variety of common scams work and how to recognize them, as well as practical tips on how consumers and businesses can protect themselves.