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CAFC Financial Crime Trend Bulletin: Text Message Scams


CAFC Bulletin 2017-2394


This bulletin is created to provide awareness regarding Text Messaging Scams currently targeting Canadians and tips on
how to avoid becoming a victim.

With the popularity of Text Messaging, The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre warns consumers to be on the lookout for
unsolicited and unwanted text message scams.

Text messaging scams occur when scammers use deceptive text messages to lure consumers into providing personal or
financial information. The scammers send text messages impersonating a government agency, bank, telephone provider
or other company. These messages can also offer employment i.e. Secret/Mystery Shopper/Car Wrapping. The Text
Messages typically ask consumers to provide usernames, passwords, credit/debit, PINs and other sensitive information
that can be used to commit financial crimes.

Warning Signs – How to Protect Yourself

  • Beware of unsolicited text messages from individuals or organizations prompting you to click on an attachment or link. Do not click on “ANY” links.
  • Watch for spelling and formatting errors.
  • Car Wrapping/Mystery Shopper Scam - If you receive funds for any reason from an unknown individual or company and you are asked to forward it elsewhere - DON’T! Chances are you are dealing with a scammer.
  • Be aware of offers of employment from what appears to be a legitimate employer; they will place ads looking for a “Financial Officer.” This usually involves collecting payments for the new employer and forwarding the money to a different country.
  • Be mindful where you post your resume; scammers use legitimate websites to seek out victims.
  • A legitimate employer will never send funds and request a portion of it back.
  • Do your research. A simple search on the internet can save you thousands of dollars.
  • Go with your gut. If a text message seems too good to be true, it probably is!

If you think you or someone you know has been a victim of fraud, please contact the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at 1-
888-495-8501 or report online at

This document is the property of the CAFC. It is loaned to your agency/department in confidence and it is not to be reclassified, copied, reproduced, used or further disseminated, in whole or part, without the consent of the originator. It is not to be used in affidavits, court proceedings or subpoenas or for any other legal or judicial purposes. This caveat is an integral part of this document and must accompany any information extracted from it.