0
This webinar is brought to you by
Your Legal Rights: a website of legal
information for people in Ontario. To watch
and li...
This webinar is brought to you by
Community Law School (Sarnia-Lambton) Inc., a nonprofit,
registered charitable organizat...
The content of this webinar is based on law that
was current on the date the webinar was
recorded. Your Legal Rights webin...
About our presenter…
Margaret Capes, B.A. (Hons.), LL.B., M.Ad.Ed, is Legal
Education Coordinator of Community Law School ...
Hot Topics in
Consumer Protection:
Watch Your Step on the
Internet!
5
2012, Community Law School (Sarnia-Lambton) Inc. 6
Webinar Overview
1. What are common internet frauds?
2. Options for Act...
What are
Common
Internet
Frauds?
Phishing
Online
Purchases
Gone Bad
Cheque
Overpayment
Scams
Emergency
Grandparent
Scams
P...
Options for Action, #1: Prevention
• Be suspicious of all emails requesting personal information, no matter how
legitimate...
Options for Action, #2: Personal Reporting
• Whether the scam involves loss of personal information and/or
money, it is im...
Options for Action, #3: Contact Criminal Law Enforcement
• Internet frauds can constitute violations of the Criminal Code,...
Options for Action, #3:
Consumer Protection Act Protections
• Sometimes internet purchases (e.g., dating services, product...
Options for Action, #3:
Consumer Protection Act Protections, cont.
b) Contractual Protections.
 Internet agreements must ...
Options for Action, #3:
Consumer Protection Act Protections, cont.
All internet agreements must be made available to a co...
Options for Action, #3:
Consumer Protection Act Protections, cont.
d) Complaint to the Ministry of Consumer Services.
 Th...
Options for Action, #3:
Consumer Protection Act Protections, cont.
e) Civil Lawsuits: Breaches of the Consumer Protection ...
Resources: Contact Information
Ministry of Consumer Services
Consumer Protection Branch
• Complaints against a business
• ...
This webinar was brought to you by Community Law School
(Sarnia-Lambton) Inc. and Your Legal Rights with funding
from the ...
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Watch Your Step on the Internet!

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Recorded on Monday, March 19, 2012 - This webinar, presented by Margaret Capes, Legal Education Coordinator of Community Law School (Sarnia-Lambton) Inc., looks at common scams such as phishing, advance fee frauds, prize and lottery scams, the grandparent scam, and cheque overpayment scams. The webinar reviews the risks of purchasing goods or services online. It covers plans of action to counter scamming activity involving reports to police, banks, credit card companies, the Canadian Anti Fraud Centre, and the Ministry of Consumer Services. Finally, it discusses how to launch a civil claim in Small Claims or Superior Court including the pros and cons of taking such a step against "hard to trace" perpetrators. Those interested in expanding their knowledge of this topic area may find the Identity Theft webinar useful.

To watch an archived version of this webinar visit:
http://yourlegalrights.on.ca/webinar/watch-your-step-internet

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Transcript of "Watch Your Step on the Internet! "

  1. 1. This webinar is brought to you by Your Legal Rights: a website of legal information for people in Ontario. To watch and listen to this webinar visit: www.yourlegalrights.on.ca/training Your Legal Rights is a project of CLEO and funded by the Law Foundation of Ontario.
  2. 2. This webinar is brought to you by Community Law School (Sarnia-Lambton) Inc., a nonprofit, registered charitable organization devoted to public legal education and community advocacy training. This webinar is facilitated by Your Legal Rights, a website of legal information for community workers and advocates who work with low income and disadvantaged communities in Ontario. Funding for this webinar was provided by the Law Foundation of Ontario as part of The Connecting Project and the Connecting Communities Consortium. www.communitylawschool.org www.yourlegalrights.ca www.lawfoundation.on.ca Community Law School (Sarnia-Lambton) Inc. 2
  3. 3. The content of this webinar is based on law that was current on the date the webinar was recorded. Your Legal Rights webinars contain general legal information. They are not intended to be used as legal advice for a specific legal problem. For more information on how to find a lawyer or to contact your local community legal clinic visit: www.yourlegalrights.on.ca/find-services Your Legal Rights is a project of CLEO and funded by the Law Foundation of Ontario. Please Note: 3
  4. 4. About our presenter… Margaret Capes, B.A. (Hons.), LL.B., M.Ad.Ed, is Legal Education Coordinator of Community Law School (Sarnia- Lambton) Inc. She also acts as Review Counsel for Community Legal Services, as an adjunct professor in the clinical law program, and as faculty advisor for Pro Bono Students Canada and the Dispute Resolution Centre, all at the Faculty of Law, University of Western Ontario. She is the former Executive Director of Community Legal Assistance Sarnia.
  5. 5. Hot Topics in Consumer Protection: Watch Your Step on the Internet! 5
  6. 6. 2012, Community Law School (Sarnia-Lambton) Inc. 6 Webinar Overview 1. What are common internet frauds? 2. Options for Action, #1: Prevention 3. Options for Action, #2: Personal Reporting 4. Options for Action, #3: Contact Criminal Law Enforcement 5. Options for Action, #4: Consumer Protection Act Protections 6. Resources: Contact Information
  7. 7. What are Common Internet Frauds? Phishing Online Purchases Gone Bad Cheque Overpayment Scams Emergency Grandparent Scams Prize and Lottery Scams Advance Fee Frauds 2012, Community Law School (Sarnia-Lambton) Inc.
  8. 8. Options for Action, #1: Prevention • Be suspicious of all emails requesting personal information, no matter how legitimate it may seem (e.g., from your bank, university, or a government office). • Do not click on links, as personal information could be revealed without your or your client’s knowledge. • Never enter personal information in a “pop up” window. • Do not provide banking, credit card, or debit card information to strangers, regardless of how desperate or sad their story seems. • Do not agree to pay a “fee” or “Processing charge” in order to claim a prize or a lottery win. • Do not agree to deposit a cheque from a stranger and send a portion back for a percentage (because the stranger’s cheque is counterfeit and will bounce). 2012, Community Law School (Sarnia-Lambton) Inc.
  9. 9. Options for Action, #2: Personal Reporting • Whether the scam involves loss of personal information and/or money, it is important to promptly report the incident. • This could potentially result in monies being returned. • The following parties should be alerted when you or your client are scammed: All banks or other financial institutions All credit card companies Any government office affected by the scam (e.g., Passport Canada, Social Insurance Number, OHIP, etc.). 2012, Community Law School (Sarnia-Lambton) Inc.
  10. 10. Options for Action, #3: Contact Criminal Law Enforcement • Internet frauds can constitute violations of the Criminal Code, the Competition Act, and the Consumer Protection Act. • Therefore, law enforcement officials should be contacted so that they can followup (although overseas scammers are notoriously hard to prosecute). • Also, reporting to law enforcement shows good faith on your/your client’s part when dealing with banks and credit card companies (see Options for Action, #2). • Report the scam to:  Local Police Department; and  Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre and Reporting Economic Crime Online (RECOL). • Scams targeted by RECOL and the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre (formerly called “Phonebusters”), national centres that handle complaints and educate the public about fraudulent internet-based pitches. Both are coordinated by the Ontario Provincial Police, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, and several other law enforcement agencies across Canada. 2012, Community Law School (Sarnia-Lambton) Inc.
  11. 11. Options for Action, #3: Consumer Protection Act Protections • Sometimes internet purchases (e.g., dating services, product purchases, computer repair services) are problematic. • Sometimes the service is delivered minimally or not at all. • Sometimes the products are damages and the vendor will not cooperate. • In these cases, if the agreement involves a purchase over $50, and if one of the parties is located in Ontario, the purchase is protected by the Consumer Protection Act (CPA). • Important protections under the CPA include: a) Freedom from Unfair Practices. These agreements are subject to the “unfair practices” protections, which permits rescission of the contract within one year if the purchaser is mislead, forced to sign under duress, is sold a product that they cannot afford, or is under a disability which does not allow them to enter into a contract for these goods or services. 2012, Community Law School (Sarnia-Lambton) Inc.
  12. 12. Options for Action, #3: Consumer Protection Act Protections, cont. b) Contractual Protections.  Internet agreements must disclose all charges and details pertaining to the contract, for example: o The vendor’s name and contact information (address/telephone/fax/email); o A fair and accurate description of the goods and services; o An itemized list of prices/taxes/shipping costs/brokerage/customs charges; o The terms and conditions of payment; o The dates/times of delivery and or completion of performance; and o The place of delivery/where services are to be performed.  An internet agreement must provide the express opportunity to accept it or decline the agreement and to correct any errors immediately before entering into it. 2012, Community Law School (Sarnia-Lambton) Inc.
  13. 13. Options for Action, #3: Consumer Protection Act Protections, cont. All internet agreements must be made available to a consumer in a manner that allows the consumer access to the information and to retain and print it, and it must be sent in the form of a written copy of the agreement. o If the above conditions are not met, the consumer may cancel the agreement within seven days after receiving a copy of it. If the consumer is not supplied with a copy of the agreement within 15 days of entering into it, s/he may cancel the agreement up to 30 days from the date of entering into it. A consumer agreement is not binding on the consumer if the agreement is not made in accordance with the Consumer Protection Act. c) Warranties and Quality of Work. The internet vendor is deemed to warrant that the services or goods to be provided are of reasonably acceptable quality. 2012, Community Law School (Sarnia-Lambton) Inc.
  14. 14. Options for Action, #3: Consumer Protection Act Protections, cont. d) Complaint to the Ministry of Consumer Services.  The Ministry has broad investigative powers and can conduct an inquiry into any complaint received.  The Ministry can make an order directing a person to comply with the CPA if it is believed on reasonable grounds that a party has engaged or in engaging in any activity that contravenes any provision of the CPA.  The Ministry can also take the party to Provincial Offences Court for breaches of the CPA.  An individual convicted of an offence under the CPA can be liable for a fine of up to $50,000 or imprisonment for a term not to exceed two years less a day, or both. A corporation that is convicted is liable for a fine of up to $250,000. o The Provincial Offences Court can also order restitution be paid to injured party as part of the sentence. 2012, Community Law School (Sarnia-Lambton) Inc.
  15. 15. Options for Action, #3: Consumer Protection Act Protections, cont. e) Civil Lawsuits: Breaches of the Consumer Protection Act and Warranty Issues.  The CPA permits lawsuits for breach of contract.  If damages can be proven as a result of breaches of the CPA, then the injured party may file a claim in Small Claims Court or in Superior Court.  Additionally, given the warranty provisions in the CPA, it is possible that a tort claim could be launched if the goods or services are substandard and damages can be proven.  The limitation period for starting a claim is two (2) years from the date the breach was discovered.  For information about starting a claim in Small Claims Court, please see the Ministry of the Attorney General’s website at: http://www.attorneygeneral.jus.gove.on.ca/english/courts/scc. 2012, Community Law School (Sarnia-Lambton) Inc.
  16. 16. Resources: Contact Information Ministry of Consumer Services Consumer Protection Branch • Complaints against a business • Questions about your consumer rights Phone 416-326-8800 or 1-800-889-9768 TTY 416-229-6086 or 1-877-666-6545 Facsimile 416-326-8665 Mail Consumer Protection Branch 5775 Yonge Street, Suite 1500 Toronto, ON M7A 2E5 Email/Website consumer@ontario.ca www.sse.gov.on.ca/mcs/en/pages/default.aspx Complaint Form www.sse.gov.on.ca/mcs/Documents/stel02_046670.pdf Cancelling a Contract under the CPA www.sse.gove.on.ca/mcs/en/Pages/Cancel_a_Contract.aspx The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre (formerly Phonebusters) RECOL (Reporting Economic Crime Online) P.O. Box 686 North Bay, ON P1B 8J8 Telephone (toll-free): 1-888-495-8501 Telephone (overseas and local): 705-495-8501 Facsimile: 1-888-654-9426 Email: info@antifraudcentre.ca Websites: www.phonebusters.com www.recol.ca Small Claims Court To pursue a claim before the Small Claims Court against an internet vendor for unfair practices or another breach of the CPA or the law in general, it is recommended that one review the Small Claims Court information and forms on the Ministry of the Attorney General’s website: www.attorneygeneral.jus.gov.on.ca/english/court s/scc. 2012, Community Law School (Sarnia- Lambton) Inc.
  17. 17. This webinar was brought to you by Community Law School (Sarnia-Lambton) Inc. and Your Legal Rights with funding from the Law Foundation of Ontario. For more information about consumer issues visit the Consumer Law section of Your Legal Rights at www.yourlegalrights.on.ca. For more public legal information webinars, including webinars on other consumer protection topics, visit: www.yourlegalrights.on.ca/training. For information about other consumer issues, social welfare laws, and community advocacy training visit the Community Law School website at www.communitylawchool.org. Community Law School (Sarnia-Lambton) Inc.
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