Although extortion scams like the people pretending to be the CRA are the most common, according to the Canadian Anti Fraud Center (CAFC) it is romance scams that are costing people the most.

A CAFC report shows that in 2018 the amount of money lost in romance scams was more then double the amount lost in extortion scams.

top ten scams based on dollar loss | Photo from CAFC

Jessica Gunson Acting Intake Unit Manager for the CAFC said the numbers so high because the scams often last for an extended period.

“The scammer develops a relationship with them. They will invest the time. They will mail and text every single day, they may send gifts, jewelry, flowers and it may go on for weeks and months.”

She added that there is sometimes a secondary scam attached where there is an inheritance, and they need you to cash a check.

In 2018 760 people lost over $22.5-million in romance scams.

“It is hard for people to report it because they are embarrassed and ashamed they fell for that and they do have real feelings for these individuals whose sole intention was to scam them.”