Blog en-us Mon, 10 Jun 2019 00:00:00 MSTimages/header.jpg Businesses Can Be Scammed Too! Mon, 10 Jun 2019 00:00:00 MST

Did you know that businesses are just as prone to scams as you are? 

The CAFC (Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre) reported that they received over 2,500 reports of business fraud with a total reported loss of over $17,000,000 in 2018. These numbers seem awfully high but they are most likely higher because many businesses fail to report that they have been scammed out of fear that it will have a negative effect on their business. 


Here are a couple different ways scammers have successfully ripped off Canadian businesses:


Extortion is defined as "oppressive or illegal exaction, as of excessive price or interest:" and is often used by scammers to get what they want. The CAFC reported that there was 347 complaints, 28 businesses fell victim to this type of scam and $105,865 was lost. There are three types of extortion scams that are used - Ransomware, Hydro Extortion Scam, and Email Extortion Campaigns.

Ransomware is a type of software that blocks all access to a computer until the scammer has been successfully paid, this type of extortion scam is the most common scam used.

Hydro Extortion Scam is very similar to the Canadian Revenue Agency scam because a business will receive a phone from someone pretending to be "Provincial Hydro Utility" saying that their business needs to pay an outstanding bill or else there power will be turned-off.

Email Extortion Campaigns involve hacking groups contacting a business claiming that they have been hired to do a "Distributed Denial of Service Attack" on their website and from there demand virtual currency for their services.



Sale of Merchandise

Sale of Merchandise scams include any type of merchandise or service being sold through a business's website or any other online ad. The CAFC reported that there was 277 complaints, 177 businesses that unfortunately fell for the scam with a total of $875,989.08 lost. There are two types of scams that involve sale of merchandise: Card Not Present (CNP) and Purchase-Order Scams.

CNP fraud happens when the card and cardholder are not paying for merchandise or a service in person. The scammer orders the product or service online or by phone using a stolen or compromised card and is processed by the merchant. The person who's credit card it is finds out and reports the purchase and by doing so the merchant is responsible for the refund. 

Purchase-Order Scams involve fraudsters pretending to be real people working for reputable organizations looking for certain products, this type of scam uses fake purchase orders that will not be paid.



Wire Fraud

Two types of wire fraud have been targeting Canadian businesses - Business Executive Scam and Supplier Swindle. These two Wire Fraud Scams have resulted in 273 complains, 70 victims, and $11,121,222.70 lost.

Business Executive Scam is when an authorized employee receives an email that is made to look like it is from someone higher up in the company, this employee clicks on the email. The email says that this person needs money right away and that they are currently working somewhere else. Often this scam leads to over $100,000.00 lost and is also known as Business Email Compromise. 

Supplier Swindle is when a scammer targets a business's claiming to be a supplier that the company regularly deals with, sending an email stating that their business is changing their payment details. The fraudsters email will include new banking information and will ask the company that they are trying to scam to send all future payments to this new account.  


Melanie Gesy Professional Corp. is here to help! Call 780-995-5236 today.




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Best ways to spend your tax refund Tue, 4 Jun 2019 00:00:00 MST


Congratulations, you have successfully filed your taxes! If you are someone who is receiving a tax refund this year, it's time to decide what to do with your new mula. Is there a little devil on your shoulder telling you to treat yourself? We have a couple better solutions for you!



Do you have an RRSP?

It's hard to be responsible with your tax refund when you start thinking "Hey I've been working hard, I should really treat myself!" and you end up blowing all of your return. Have you thought of maybe starting a RRSP? A Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) is a retirement savings account that reduces your overall taxable income, helps you plan for retirement, helps with your savings and much more. By saving your refund and contributing it to your RRSP it actually lowers your income tax as well as increases your next year's refund.  



Do you have a TFSA?

The Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA) is an account that does not apply taxes on contributions to the account or any withdrawals from the account. You can actually make contributions into your TFSA during anytime of the year, whether it being a little bit here and there or a large amount all at once. By adding your tax refund into your TFSA you are able to afford the trip you have always wanted because you saved wisely. The 2019 TFSA annual limit is $6,000 and the cumulative limit is $63,500. 




Do you have a RESP?

If you have children, you may want to look into starting a Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP). This particular savings account is very important because it helps you save for your children's post-secondary education. When you open this type of account it also creates a Canada Education Savings Grant, which is great if you have an RESP because it will boost your return.



Does your home need a makeover?

Close your eyes and visualize your dream kitchen, can you make it a reality? Renovating your home is not a life necessity but when you go to sell your home, you will be glad your refund went to much needed renovations.



Have student loans weighing you down?

Do you feel like your drowning because of your student loans that keep piling up? Instead of spending your refund on upgrading your current phone to the new iPhone, maybe consider using it to help take a bit of the stress off yourself. 


Melanie Gesy Professional Corp. is here to help! Call 780-995-5236 today.





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Filing Your Taxes Late Wed, 1 May 2019 00:00:00 MST


Tax season is quickly coming to an end on April 30th. If you have already successfully filed your taxes before the deadline then this blog is not meant for you. If you are a procrastinator and haven't sent in your return yet - keep reading!


The Deadline

As listed above, most Canadians Income tax and benefit returns are due by Monday, April 30th. Individuals with self-employed incomes, spouses or common-law partners that garnered self-employed earnings in 2018 have until Saturday, June 15th to file. Any self-employed workers have until June 15th to file as well, but they must pay any balance owing by April 30th. Since June 15th lands on a Saturday this year, those filing before that date have until Monday, June 17th. 



Let's say you have a balance owing for 2018, the CRA charges compound daily interest starting on May 1st, 2019 for any unpaid amounts that you may owe. This also includes any balance owing if the CRA reassess your return. 


Late-filing Penalty

If your balance is zero or if you're getting a refund you shouldn't stress because you won't be given any penalties for filing late. If you do have a balance owing, you could be looking at a large penalty. Your penalty would include five percent of your balance owing plus one percent of your balance owning for each month that your return is overdue. If you always seem to be filing late and have already been charged the penalty in the last three years then you now owe ten percent of your balance owing, two percent of your balance of each month that your return is overdue up to twenty months.


What can you do?

In some cases you can actually ask the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) to waive or cancel late filing penalties if the reason you filed your return was because of circumstances out of your control. To request a waiver you will have to complete a specific form that includes details on what the specific circumstance was and if it justifies the late filing. Click here to see form.


Melanie Gesy Professional Corp. is here to help! Call 780-995-5236 today.




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