Gone phishing! Internet and social media scams rampant, says Competition Bureau

Canada’s competition watchdog is warning Canadians to be ever watchful for online scam artists who try to take advantage of the uninformed and the soft-hearted.

OTTAWA — Canada’s competition watchdog is warning Canadians to be ever watchful for online scam artists who try to take advantage of the uninformed and the soft-hearted.

The Competition Bureau says scammers are becoming more sophisticated in using the Internet to defraud Canadians of their money and personal information.

The bureau says social-media scams are now among the most prevalent of scams, through Facebook, Twitter and other websites where fraudsters are trying to sell fake products or rip people off.

But few people caught up in scams are reporting the incidents to police or other authorities.

The bureau held a “Twitter party” today to highlight the dangers of Internet and social-media fraud.

But if the traffic during the online chat is any indication, the agency has its work cut out for it in trying to keep the public informed about online menaces.

Only a handful of participants appeared to be from the general public.

The majority included police and government agencies, consumer groups and companies involved with Internet security.

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