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Canadians tell us they are tired of scam calls. So why did the RCMP dismantle its phone scam task force?
We are all tired of picking up the phone and finding a scammer on the phone on the other end of the line.
For five years, Market has been on the case, investigating scams, scammers overseas and alleged coordinators in Canada funneling money overseas.
In 2018, the RCMP launched Project Octavia, a special task force dedicated to stopping fraudulent calls that have formed as a result of Marketthe initial investigation into the CRA tax scam.
But as the calls have increased, so have the millions of dollars Canadians are losing every year.
To date, the task force has indicted nearly a dozen people in Canada accused of funneling money to criminal syndicates running phone scams targeting Canadians.
But like Market learned, before any of these cases went to trial, that the RCMP disbanded its financial crimes unit in Ontario and is no longer investigating these alleged financial mules as part of Project Octavia.
Financial crime experts fear this will only embolden scammers.
“In an industry like this that operates with impunity, you send the message that Canada doesn’t care about this kind of crime,” said Vanessa Iafolla, a financial crimes researcher at Saint Mary’s University in Halifax. Read more
Watch Market of hour-long season finale to learn more about this story, including how good hackers battle phone scammers and save vulnerable Canadians from falling prey to their schemes in the process. Catch up anytime on Gem of Radio-Canada.
This couple tried to send $10,000 to their son. He went to a stranger’s account instead
It’s touted as a safe and reliable way to send money, but an Ontario couple claim the $10,000 wire transfer they sent to their adult son was deposited into a stranger’s account, then disappeared.
Barbara and Robert Behan wanted to help their son and his young family finish the basement of their home, so they sent the money as a Christmas present.
The transfer was sent from the couple’s TD bank account in Penetanguishene, Ont., on Dec. 21 to a CIBC branch in Calgary where their son has been banking for decades. But the money never appeared in his account.
Weeks later, CIBC told the Behans that the money was gone – deposited in someone else’s account the day it was sent – and the account holder withdrew the $10,000 the next day, then closed the account.
“It’s inconceivable. Apparently this person had the exact same account number as our son,” Barbara said.
CIBC says customers can have identical account numbers. It’s another set of numbers – the five-digit transit numbers that identify a specific branch – that differentiates the accounts.
After two months of battle between the banks, the CIBC ombudsman decided that the CIBC was not at fault and offered the couple half of their money as a show of goodwill.
But after Go Public contacted the bank, the full amount was returned to the Behans.
According to banking expert Werner Antweiler, all of this could have been avoided if banks had implemented a better system to ensure that wire transfers end up in the right place. Read more
Some researchers give up their gas stoves. here’s why
Do you have a gas stove in your house?
Experts say it might be time to consider switching to an electric stove if you can afford it.
Tara Kahan, a chemist at the University of Saskatchewan, says when she took pollution readings inside homes after cooking with a gas stove, she was surprised at how high the levels of nitrogen oxides were high and how long they lasted.
His colleagues were also shocked.
Exposure to nitrogen oxides, produced when gas is burned, is linked to respiratory problems such as asthma and decreased lung function, especially in children. For example, a 2013 meta-analysis of 41 studies found that children living in a home that used gas for cooking had a 42% increased risk of developing asthma.
If it’s not possible to replace your gas stove, there are other things you can do to reduce your risk.
Try using other cooking methods when possible, including the microwave and portable induction burners, use rear burners more often, and be sure to ventilate when cooking, says Rob Jackson, professor of environmental sciences at Stanford University. Read more
What else is going on?
The labor shortage is not over – and employers need to lower their hiring expectations
Companies are dropping some of their job requirements as they struggle to recruit the right candidates.
Avian flu poses a ‘significant risk’ to Canadian poultry farms as cases have been reported in multiple provinces
Human transmission is not yet a concern, but the strain may disrupt the poultry industry.
British Columbia oysters are now linked to dozens of norovirus cases in several US states
At least 91 people have fallen ill in the United States, after nearly 300 cases reported in Canada.
Certain Kinder brand chocolates recalled due to risk of salmonella
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency says the recalled chocolates are not to be consumed.
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