But when his friend posted a Facebook link to Canada’s Wonderland tickets, he paid $ 35 for what he thought was a great bargain. A single-day ticket costs $ 62 at the gate and $ 48 at the amusement park’s website.
As a frequent visitor to a well-known deal site, Red Flag Deals, Parmar admits he was confused by the similar names.
“I showed the site to some friends and we’re all impressed with how good a job they’ve done,” he says. “I think it’s a good story that would help others, since I was surprised I fell for it so easily.”
The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre received 16,000 complaints about email and website scams in 2013, accounting for $ 29 million in reported losses, says the RCMP, a partner in the anti-fraud centre with the Ontario Provincial Police and the Competition Bureau.
“Cybercrime is expanding,” the RCMP writes in a report on new ways of policing in a digital era. “Through information technologies, criminals are expanding their reach to commit entirely new crimes and old crime in new ways.”
The Better Business Bureau in Alberta gives the company a D- rating on a scale of A+ to F. It says the lower rating arises from a failure to be transparent about ownership, location and products offered, plus a failure to deal with one complaint filed against the business.
Parmar acted quickly. He called his bank, which advised him to fill out a report with the RCMP. He also called the amusement park and spoke to Allan Ross in the security and loss prevention department.
“Hello, Kam, The Red Deals is not a licensed distributor for Canada’s Wonderland tickets,” Ross wrote back to him. “The confirmation number you have provided me has been flagged by our department as fraudulent and the tickets for this reason cannot be honoured.
Parmar says his Visa issuer cancelled the card right away and will send him a new one. It will also provide a refund, which may be a bit less than $ 35 (Canadian) because of daily currency fluctuations.
“I’m lucky I was able to cancel the card right away,” he says. “Most people wouldn’t realize they got scammed until they see their statement in a month.”
My advice: Online bargains can look convincing and credible. Always be skeptical.
The Red Deals site said: “This item has no valid for Wonderland Halloween haunt.”
Parmar received an email with his ticket that had several errors, such as: “Pleaseprint the attachment and bring it with you when entrance.” And in an email thanking him for the purchase, The Red Deals said: “We hope you had best shopping experience with us. Simply reply this email if you have additional question.”
“Canada’s Wonderland works with numerous police agencies and financial institutions to assist in shutting down websites selling fraudulent tickets to the park,” said the park’s Shannon Kelly, manager of public relations.
“We have also undergone several measures to block fraudulent transactions, and to inform guests with fraudulent orders their tickets are not valid and to contact their financial institution. The safest way to purchase tickets is through our official website, canadaswonderland.com. ”