March 12, 2018 2:35 pm
Updated: March 12, 2018 8:20 pm

By the numbers: Which scams cost Edmonton victims the most money?

WATCH: Edmonton police say fraud continues to thrive in the city. Vinesh Pratap spoke to a couple who was victimized even though they thought they took all the right steps.

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Edmontonians lost more than $369,602 in mass marketing scams between Jan. 1, 2017 to Dec. 31, 2017.

Some schemes target more victims, while others look for big payouts from a smaller number of individuals.

READ MORE: Edmonton fraud victim describes evolving CRA, Bitcoin scam: ‘I became a crazy lady’ 

Edmonton police said these types of scams range from sporting event tickets to buying vehicles or pets online.

Watch below: The latest figures from the Edmonton Police Service show scammers use all kinds of bait to lure their victims. Here’s a look at a few of the biggest ones.


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47 – The number of people victimized by Oilers ticket scams

$22,035 – The amount of money lost to Oilers ticket scams

44 – The number of people victimized by rental suite/residence scams

$61,071 – The amount of money lost to rental suite/residence scams

43 – The number of people victimized by concert ticket scams

$7,910 – The amount of money lost to concert ticket scams

42 – The number of people victimized by iPhone sale scams

$27,905 – The amount of money lost to iPhone sale scams

32 – The number of people victimized by vehicle sale scams

$129,042 – The amount of money lost to vehicle sale scams

8 – The number of people victimized by employment scams

$15,639 – The amount of money lost to employment scams

8 – The number of people victimized by dog or pet scams

$5,360 – The amount of money lost to dog or pet scams

4 – The number of people victimized by Edmonton Eskimos ticket scams

$695 – The amount of money lost to Edmonton Eskimos ticket scams

3 – The number of people victimized by computer ransomware scams or extortion

$3,330  – The amount of money lost to computer ransomware scams or extortion

2 – The number of people victimized by contractor scams

$1,650 – The amount of money lost to contractor scams

1 – The number of people victimized by astrology scams

$117,000 – The amount of money lost to astrology scams

$8.4 million – The amount of money lost to mass marketing scams Alberta-wide in 2017 (reported to Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre)

$96.8 million – The amount of money lost to mass marketing scams Canada-wide in 2017 (reported to Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre)

A local couple shared their story about buying a recreational vehicle online only to discover it was stolen.

They spent $19,000 on the RV and then about $2,000 more on upgrades.

READ MORE: Edmonton police warn Kijiji shoppers after uncovering scam targeting at least 7 victims 

“We did what we thought was a reasonable amount of vigilance,” said the man, who didn’t want his name used.

“Once we started looking online, you find out that these professionals can do even more things to change the VIN,” the woman said. “It’s almost impossible if they’re really professional.

“We could have been more vigilant and we realize that now. It’s devastating.”

Mass Marketing Fraud includes scams that use telephones, internet, mass mailings, TV, radio or in-person contact to obtain money or other valuables.

Types of scams that Edmonton police are alerting people about include online retail scams, employment scams, charity scams, credit card interest reduction scams, loan scams, inheritance scams, foreign lottery or prize scams, online sales/counterfeit cashier’s cheque scams, romance scams, phishing and scalping scams.

Watch below: Former Global Edmonton troubleshooter turned consumer protection expert Julie Matthews joined Erin Chalmers to talk about some of the most common internet scams and how to avoid falling for them.

Police offered some red flags for consumers to be wary of:

  • Someone asks for your personal financial details over the phone or email
  • You’re pressured to buy something or give information without time to think
  • Asked to pay specifically by cash, cheque, money order or commercial wire service transfer
  • You’re told you’ve won a foreign lottery or contest you didn’t enter
  • Asked to transfer funds out of a foreign country for a share
  • Given a cheque or money order for more than the cost of an item you are selling

READ MORE: Online purchase scams and wire fraud top list of scams for 2017 

Police offered some tips to protect consumers:

  • Remove your name from solicitation lists
  • Shred suspicious mail and do not respond to junk mail or emails from strangers
  • Don’t respond to claims you’ve won a foreign lottery
  • Get all offers in writing and independently verify credentials
  • Don’t deposit cheques sent by companies that claim the cheque is for fees on lottery winnings or inheritance

If you’ve been the victim of fraud, call the Edmonton Police Service at 780-423-4567.

To report a fraud, contact the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre online or at 1-888-495-8501.

Watch below: When it comes to scams, do you think millennials or seniors have lost more money?

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