New “Scam Tracker” Tool Helps Consumers Stay on the Lookout for Fraud

24 November 2015

To help stymie the spread of online scams and improve fraud protection for consumers, the Better Business Bureau’s (BBB) free online resource that allows its users to track and report malicious activity and fraud on the internet is now available in Canada.

Initially released in the U.S. this past February, the “Scam Tracker” is now up and running in Canada as well, allowing local BBBs to collect and process data from consumers about fraudulent activity they can then share with law enforcement to help identify and prosecute scammers.

The Scam Tracker aggregates this information in an interactive heat map that shows where suspicious activity has been reported. Consumers can then further sort through the data using filters, such as location or type, to identify the scams that have been targeting others in their communities or to determine whether a suspicious email could have in fact been part of an attempted scam. Users can even see details such as how much money has been lost due to online fraud, which could help raise awareness of the importance of identity theft protection.

The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre receives more than 50,000 telephone calls and more than 400,000 emails about scams every year. However, the information from each complaint is left unavailable to individual consumers. With the Scam Tracker, reporting would not only be easier for consumers, but it would give them better access to the data they need to keep themselves safe from scammers.

In addition to giving consumers access to information they can use to protect themselves on their own, the BBB is also able to use complaint data to thwart would-be fraudsters more proactively.

“One of the greatest benefits is we can see where they’re heading,” president and CEO of the Council of Better Business Bureaus, Mary Power, told CBC News in an interview from Washington, D.C. “So if there’s a scam directed at elderly folks in the Toronto area and then all of a sudden we see them pop up in Vancouver, the BBB there can send out warnings and alert that population.”

Among all the available tools to help you prevent identity theft, one of the most important is a credit monitoring service. Investing in a credit monitoring service can notify you of certain activities that may indicate fraud, empowering you to take action against it. To learn more about credit monitoring options that can help give you peace of mind knowing that you’re taking the necessary steps to protect your identity, contact Identity Guard Canada today.