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RCMP warn of “gifting cloud” scam circulating in northern New Brunswick

Empty gift box

News Release from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police

The Saint-Quentin RCMP is warning the public to be aware of scammers and fraudulent activity, after some people in northern New Brunswick have been approached to take part in a 'gifting cloud' or "gifting circle" scheme.

What is it?

In a "gifting cloud" or "gifting circle", people are invited to invest or pay a "gift" of money to join, with the promise of a significant financial pay-off at the end. They are then asked to recruit new 'investors' to contribute.

A "gifting cloud" or "gifting circle" is a pyramid scheme, it is a fraud and it is illegal.

"If you know someone who is thinking about participating in a gifting cloud or gifting circle, tell them it's a scam and not to take part in any way," says Sgt. Martin Janson of the Saint-Quentin RCMP. "Spread the word to family and friends about this scheme, and encourage them not to contribute any money to anything that they aren't sure is a legitimate cause or investment."

What should you do?

If you believe a fraudster is targeting you, contact your local police or the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at 1-888-495-8501.

If you have been a victim of this scam or any other fraud, report it to your local police and your financial institution.

For further information on the types of frauds and scams that are currently circulating, and on how to best protect yourself, visit the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre's website.

You may be interested in our related consumer alert from February, where it describes how gifting circles work. You can find it here.

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