Competition Bureau Canada

Competition Bureau Canada
Industry Canada

Industry Canada

March 23, 2007 13:09 ET

Competition Bureau Flags Latest Scam to Hit Canadian Businesses

FRAUD: Recognize it. Report it. Stop it.

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - March 23, 2007) - The Competition Bureau intervenes in the latest attempt to defraud Canadian businesses. The new scam involves business directory solicitations sent to Canadian companies using the federal government's corporate signature and the name "Canadian Companies Directory for Industry, Commerce and Trade". As part of Fraud Prevention Month, the Competition Bureau is warning businesses, government and organizations to be wary of this directory scam.

The use of the federal government's corporate signature - which is strictly reserved for the Government of Canada - and the similarity to the former name of the Department of Industry - Industry, Trade and Commerce - has led many businesses to believe that receiving this solicitation is in association with the Canadian government.

Neither Industry Canada nor any other government department has anything to do with this solicitation, which is apparently being conducted out of Switzerland. Authorities there are aware of this scam.

Based on information gathered to date, recipients have received invoices in the amount of $749.00 for a directory that they supposedly ordered. In addition, it appears that Canadian Companies Directory for Industry, Commerce and Trade is not located at the address shown on the document.

The use of the corporate signature is reserved for Government of Canada business activities. Neither Industry Canada nor any other government department produces or markets a directory of Canadian businesses.

Tips for business to protect themselves:

- The Government of Canada does not market business directories or solicit business.

- If the federal government's corporate signature is used, check the name of the stated organization on the official Government of Canada Web site to determine if this organization is part of the Canadian Government:

- Don't pay for products that you did not order. If you receive invoices for services you are unfamiliar with, verify that an order was placed.

Anyone receiving this type of solicitation is invited to send their complaints to the Competition Bureau; these will be forwarded to the Swiss authorities.

The Competition Bureau chairs the Fraud Prevention Forum, which is a concerned group of private sector firms, consumer and volunteer groups, government agencies and law enforcement organizations committed to fighting fraud aimed at consumers and businesses. Through its partners, the Forum works to prevent Canadians from becoming victims of fraud by educating them on how to recognize it, report it and stop it.

For more information on the Forum or Fraud Prevention Month, visit:

Sample of business directory solicitation:

Contact Information

  • Competition Bureau
    Maureen McGrath (Media enquiries)
    613-296-2187 (cell.)
    Competition Bureau
    Information Centre