Mail fraud and spam

Receiving unsolicited mail is not only bothersome, but might also put your personal or financial information at risk. Take the steps to protect yourself against postal mail fraud. Learn how to lower the amount of addressed marketing offers you receive in your mailbox.

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Recognizing mail scams

Some individuals or organizations try to reach would-be victims by mail. According to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre, the three most common types of mail fraud are:

  • international mail scams (i.e., foreign money offers, inheritance scams)
  • job scams (i.e., mystery shopper scams, car wrapping scams)
  • prize scams (i.e., lottery scams, sweepstakes scams)

Visit their web page on Mail scams to learn how to recognize the different types of mail fraud.

Protecting yourself against mail fraud

Follow these tips to spot and reject mail fraud:

  • Be wary of "free" gifts, prize offers or job opportunities that require a purchase, tax payment or other fee in advance.
  • Do not trust unsolicited offers requiring your credit card number or bank account number, or prompting you to call a 1-900 number.
  • Deal only registered companies or charities.
  • Compare the products, services and prices available in local stores before making an impulse buy through a mail offer.
  • Contact your provincial or territorial consumer affairs office or Better Business Bureau to find out if there have been any complaints against the company.

Reporting postal mail fraud

Mail fraud is a crime. If you believe you've been the victim of mail fraud, report the incident to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.

Reducing unwanted mail spam

You can reduce the amount of addressed marketing offers you receive in your mailbox by registering with the Canadian Marketing Association's Do Not Mail Service.  Your name will be kept on their list for six years.