The government, your bank, your insurance company, and any other company you do business with will never ask you for personal information over the phone. Anyone who calls saying they are from any of these companies or organizations asking for personal information is not who they say they are. Hang up and report them to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.

Also, you must remember if something is free, you do not have to pay for it. Don't give out your credit card information to hold or pay a shipping fee for a free prize. Don’t give money over the phone to charities that contact you. If you want to give to a charity tell them you want to think it over, then find the number for the charity on your own and call. This way you know your money is indeed going to that specific charity.

If you are ever in doubt about someone offering you something over the phone, tell the salesperson to give you their contact information, and you will call them back once you’ve thought it over. A real salesperson will understand this and have no problem with it. If they push the sale and say it is a ‘limited time offer’ and you ‘must buy now’, just hang up the phone. It’s not rude; it's safe.

You can reduce the number of telemarketer calls you receive by subscribing to caller identification, and not answering calls from numbers you don't recognize. If it is someone who needs to reach you, they will leave a message, and you can call them back.
There are five toll-free numbers in Canada that you may see on your caller identification; 1.800, 1.866, 1.877, 1.888 and 1.310 are all telemarketer numbers. If your caller identification shows one of these numbers calling you be aware that it is a telemarketer.

Remember. All 1.900 numbers charge you a fee as soon as you answer the phone, regardless of if they call you first. If you see a phone number beginning in 1.900 calling you, don’t answer, or you will be charged immediately.

You can also register your number on the Do Not Call List--a free list that reduces the number of telemarketer calls you will receive.

Tips on Avoiding Telemarketing Fraud

  • Sign up for Caller Identification, also called Call Display
  • Register for the National Do Not Call List
  • Remember you cannot win a contest that you did not enter 
  • Never give any personal information over the phone
  • Be wary of “Limited Time Offers” or being told that you “Must Act Now!”
  • The following are sets of toll-free numbers in Canada:
    • 1.800
    • 1.866
    • 1.877
    • 1.888
  • 310.000 is the Alberta Government’s toll-free number
  • All 1.900 numbers charge the call to you

Do Not Call List

To register yourself on the Do Not Call List visit or call  1.866.580.3625

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