Oh Canada

The Canadian Government Wants to Make Sure You Don’t Get Catfished

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The Ministry of Consumer Services has produced a PSA informing Ontarians about the warning signs of romance scams — that is, when people on the Internet steal your money by pretending they love you. Canadians lost nearly $14 million to these frauds in 2012. (Before you giggle, you should know that the same figure may be as high as $56 million in the United States). Let this friendly lady police officer be your guide. Her advice is totally sound — don’t send cash, choose an established dating site, and trust your gut — but not without an utterly charming Computers for Dummies flavor. The highlights:

  • “A scammer will ask you to send provocative pictures or do sex acts over the Internet.”
  • “A scammer will try to be endearing to you.”
  • “A scammer has problems cashing a cheque.” [Cheque!]
  • “A scammer contacts the victim, claims to be a police officer or lawyer and asks for legal fees.”
  • “A relative might call indicating that that first scammer had died, and they need money for a funeral.”

Until Canada produces its very own version of Catfish, this will have to do. Come for the intro muzak, stay for the adorable pronunciation of “about.”

[h/t Adam Goldenberg]