Harry

Things to be careful of after "Landing"

Recommended Posts

Harry

Things to be careful of

One will find comments all over SACanada about how one "bleeds cash" when one first arrives in Canada, what with one's entire credit history being declared null and void and many places not wanting to give one HP plans until one has at least a SIN card or a job. There are also other worries in this general area of money that one gets exposed to in this process.

I believe it is important to have a place on SACanada where we collect the dangers and horror stories so that folks do not have to suffer for their ignorance about how things work here.

This is not to say that business practices here are any worse than anywhere else, but they certainly are different. As a result, in one's first few months here, when things are tough and one is vulnerable, one may want to be careful around some of these issues.

In thistop posting, I shall constantly update the lessons learnt. To get the detail on each case, read the postings below. This post is just the summary.

Some of these things come a bit later in one's journey in this new life. Somehow, one's name and credit rating gets around and then a whole different set of issues is sent to frustrate one. Personally, I find this latter category particularly frustrating as it messes with a different part of one's psychology.

SO, I am starting this thread off with a contribution about one of these "later" issues, because it is fresh in my mind, and it is an example of a rather distasteful category of business practices.

I would like to ask contributors here to understand that it is not OK to attack individual organisations, companies or persons in such companies. However, when there is indepedent evidence elsewhere of a problem, then, I imagine, a link to such supporting evidence should be OK.

Our list of things to be very careful about, so far:

1. Buying Clubs that cut out retailers and ask huge up front fees. Not to be confused with places like Costco, whch is more like Makro in SA. Costco REALLY buys in bulk but offers correspondingly narrower choice and the membership fee is more like $75 or something ( not $4000!!...see below)

2. Timeshare: Often demanding TODAY decisions on supposed good deals

3. Anything that offers a present for attending a presentation: These are not always a problem, but you should ask yourself why they find it necessary to sweeten the arrangement if they have a sensible, well-priced product in the first place.

4. Extended Warranties. Not ALWAYS a bad idea, but do the homework and make sure what the supposed warranty actually covers. Do NOT confuse these with post-sale service deals, of which some are quite acceptable.

5. Carpet cleaners that offer to clean you house ducts: Don't let them near your ducts before you have checked out their credentials. The best thing to do is you can phone Sears and check whether they have them listed as affiliates. Sears hate these imposter guys with a passion. This carpet and duct business is full of skarmunkels over here and the good guys in the business suffer for it.

6. Telemarketer/ "Charitable" Donation operations: You are now in the Mecca of telemarketers and information thieves. First thing to know on this subject, is that some of these "artists" sell your phone number to yet other ones. Secondly, please understand that your fax machine is automatically dialled by a machine to see if it indeed responds like a fax, in which case your fax number is sold to others. Also realise that it is not a human dialling you...usually it is a machine. Please be careful and understand that telemarketing companies are hired by third parties to hassle you and hustle you out of your money. I personally have taken to distrusting any entity that ries to collect money over the phone until such time as they can be verified to be on the up-and-up. Also, the more their "hearts bleed", the more you'd be wise to distrust the situation. If you hear a lot of voices before someone speaks on the other side, it is a dead give-away that you have been autodialled and the telemarketer on the other side was too slow in picking up...! Frankly, just put the phone down. There is in fact a limit to what humans can endure. I suspect SA folks in general are too nice in this domain. Feel free to exercise your "dark side" on this subject just a little. Ligitimate organisations are usually recognisable in some way or another. The USA is making laws against this disease that masquerades as an industry...you would not be too far out of line treating it like the social dysfunction that it actually is.

7. Fishy e-mails: You are now in the home territory of the major internet scammers...North America. Be really careful of e-mails from your service providers and acount holders who turn out NOT to be your service providers, but rather, crooks who are masquerading as them. Most service providers and account holders will give you a way to recognise legitimate e-mails from them. For example, they may possibly always use your first name as registered with them or they will undertake to NEVER ask you certain kinds of info. After a while you'll learn to smell these scam efforts.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Harry

High Pressure Sales Practices

I can post some interesting articles later about "scaring up the bill" in auto workshops and offers you "can't refuse"and "Nigerian scams" etc etc. Right now my concern is with the ligitimate high pressure sales folks.

I would submit that, like Nigerian scam acts, all of these practices rely fundamentally on an attempted manipulation of your psychology. Nigerian scam stories are characterised by a "hard luck story" combined with a "Send money upfront" section. This catches the softhearted part of society time and again. The mere fact that these Nigerian scams continue, proves that they are working somewhere.

Somehow the "Timeshare" and "Direct Buying Clubs" also share the "Give money now" part and combine it with a psychological pressure effort. These two kinds of businesses have a three tier approach to existence:

1. Get people into the tent whichever way you can

2. Once in the tent, pressure them untill they pay money for a long term commitment

3. Keep getting money from them and give them something in exchange.

...in the "timeshare" case, they often sweeten the deal with some sort of present "in exchange for your precious time".

NONE of them will tell you upfront that they are going to

1. put you in the corner,

2. crank up the pressure,

3. then demand that you pay money today or the offer is off the table, and

4. if you do not want to do so right there and then, they start getting more and more intense until it gets very close to abusive.

This does not happen in all cases, but they DO all "get on your case" to make you feel obliged by some or other strategem, moral or otherwise.

SO, what prompted me to write this contribution?

Yesterday, while having to do some other stuff in the City of Vancouver, we agreed we'd drop by one of the direct buying clubs and hear their story. We are looking at a bunch of reno's and we thought this approach might be worth checking into.

The effort at getting us that far had been very professional and well handled and none of my warning bells had gone off, other than a general level of apprehension that I have about "clever schemes". I DID get unhappy as we enetered the door, because a sign outside said "This franchise is operated by...". That really bothered me somehow, but I could not articulate it at the time. Maybe one of our real business folks here can tell me why my instincts rebelled. There is nothing basically wrong with a franchise.

When the chap arrived that was going to "handle" us, my alarm bells went off. I don't want to make any nasty comments, but to say that he inspired absolutely zero faith, would be an understatement. You can read more about the precise folks elsewhere on the internet and I do NOT provide a link. He also misread me and my wife utterly and completely. We were actually QUITE interested, but just do not tolerate BS or attitude.

He talked a lot until I asked him : "Where do you folks make your money?". He said they sell memberships. I responded with "I suspect you want payment up front". He answered with "Yes we do, and then there is a subscription after the third year onwards". The numbers were $4000 up front for the first three years, and then $399 per annum for the fourth year onwards...quite a bit of money in my book. However, I thought it was still worth going on with the presentation.

We then sat through a truly excessively long video in a room with 4 other families. It made the obvious statements, such as markups in North America are about 20-odd % on smaller consumer items, on average 30-odd % on general goods and up to 70% on furniture. I knew this, and really did not need the movie. I was argueing that, if this makes money sense at a markup of 20%, I might do it.

This was all fine, if tedious, until they got to the important line : ...we'd have to decide right now, on this visit, otherwise the door is shut forever. When that bit played, I woke up from my dozing and told my wife I prefer to leave. She felt we should at least check out what they could do on some specific cases.

The young man came back, took us to their catalogue room, where we immediately found that Nikon was not on the list. OK, so much for the first purchase. Nevertheless, let's see what they can do on a 19" flat panel display for a PC. Sure enough, they had a BenQ catalogue. When the young man looked in the catalogue they did indeed have a flat panel display, but he "bobbed and weaved" and did not give me the percentage markup. Then, suddenly, he said : "Man! I was not hired to do your shopping!". SO I turned to my wife and said "I believe we'll be leaving now". We did, but got some attitude from a young lady on the way out.

So, today I looked them up on the BC Better Business Bureau website and lo and behold:

Membership Status: This company is not a member.

Type-of-Business Classification: Purchasing Service

Nature of Business:There is no "cooling off period" or cancellation protection when signing a contract with this type of business.

Customer Experience: On Thursday, September 19, 2002, the Membership Review Committee of the Board of this Better Business Bureau terminated this company's membership for violating the Integrity, Truthfulness, Cooperativeness, and Self-regulation clauses of the BBB Code of Ethics.

Additional Doing-Business-As Names:3 names ( might have to do with my franchise worries)

Additional Phone Numbers:3 phones from three area codes

Comment about Discount Buying Clubs: What You Order is Not Always What You Get

I believe the moral of this category of stories is:

1. Check up on these parties before you get yourself in there.

2. If they insist you make a decision NOW, get up, thank them for their time and leave as fast as you can!

I am still unclear on whether these parties have these high pressure abusive methods because they calculate on nailing down a consistent small percentage of a large number of targets, or whether people over here just part with money way too easily, so that these creatures normally "get their man" much more easily than having to struggle with Harry-questions. Maybe an ex-Timeshare agent here somewhere can tell us.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Rolé

Harry,

We also got an invitation to visit Direct Buy (or something like that). They really sort of harassed us to come to the appointment until finally we agreed to set a date and time. So, we were very sceptical to begin with. I also found the presentation very long and tedious and it was definitely no fun with a 3 month old on the tow. Then the same story with the high entry prices and you have to commit for at least 5 years or something like that. And the same line of it's now or never. So, we also decided it would have to be never then. I wasn't impressed with them at all!

Rolé

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Karen

What about those calls telling you that you have definitely won a ( substantial) prize and all you have to do to collect it, is attend a dinner and listen to a presentation - no buying is needed? When you say you can't attend on such and such a day, they promptly offer you another time!!

So, what I did the last time I received such a call, was tell the lady that I had no desire for the prize, but I was more than happy for her to attend in my place and that she could claim it for her own.

There was a stunned silence, and then the phone went dead!!

Needless to say, I have not been bugged since by any such companies, so I can only hope my name has been backlisted by them all.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Matisse
Needless to say, I have not been bugged since by any such companies, so I can only hope my name has been backlisted by them all.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I will not count on it, Karen, but your response was classic! I will try it the next time I receive such a call about a price I have won.

The best response to telecanvassing and market research calls (if you are not interested in what they are selling or researching) is to ask them to take your telephone number off their call list, which they are then required to do.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Karen

A friend of mine once received a marketing call and was asked how she was that day.

The conversation went something like this:

- Hello Mrs B...? How are you doing today?"

- How am I doing, well, I woke up with the mother of all headaches, the kids were up all night vomitting, my husband could not find an ironed shirt this morning and lost his temper, the basement flooded, the school called to complain about little Johnny again.. you, know, his teacher is driving me crazy.. just last week, she called me to tell me his homework was lost. Oh, my car is going in for a service and how I am going to get to my gyn appointment, I just don't know.......

Anyway, she went on and on in this vein, for about another five minutes and the poor little guy and the other end kept trying to interject and she kept saying , "Let me finish, you asked me how I am and I am going to tell you!"

Eventually, totally exasperated, the little guy on the other end decided he was fighting a losing battle, and quietly put down the phone!!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
miena

...and the person you are "giving" it to is some immigrant reading a script from a computer screen as this is the only job they could get...whilst the "schemer" is playing golf somewhere...

Getting back to Harry's "Be Cautious" topic...

1. On renting we were expected to pay the first year in rent upfront. We did, and later learned from this site, that it was illegal.

2. We wanted to purchase a "new" vehicle and wanted to finance it via the dealer. Because we had no "credit history" the rate was loaded and we were expected to make a substantial downpayment, kinda defeats the purpose, when you are trying to build a credit history. We were "naive" and paid way too much..

3. On moving into our own home, a lady arrived with a basket of goodies, called the "Welcome Wagon". Lo and behold, the local vendors e.g. dentist, florist, hairstylist, etc. all had a fridge magnet for you. Soon, we needed a plumber (old home), called the "fridge magnet", later found out that we paid double. Phoned the water filtration people to have an undersink filtration installed, got convinced we needed a whole new system for the whole house, wowo, they didi all the tests and showed me how "bad" my water was, only $7000. At midnigt hubby and I both admitted that we were impulsive, phoned our legal adviser, stopped the cheque and had to face many "angry" phonecalls later, but it passess....

Harry, I can go on and on, and it even happens today to us as we speak. I kick myself, I cry and eventually will learn.

1. You are in Canada, you have choice, get off your butt and do your homework, shop-around.

2. Get a good "feel" of the price of something, have a look at eBay and consumer reports, negotiate

3. If you feel that you have been "disgruntled", report it, you are in Canada, something will happen to the offender. Protect your rights.

4. If you are renovating, get a permit, do not take a chance, if in doubt get one anyway...

5. You owe it to yourself, rather spend your money at a place (even if it is with premium) so that you can exchange it, get a full refund, etc. A bargain is never a bargain in the long run.

Harry. Ths gives me an idea. How about our own forum for Consumer Reports? What NOT to Buy...uHmmmm an electric fondue set?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
miena

Ooops..

This is where you can report stuff like this, according to TD...

"Where can I get help or more information?

Fraud - recognize it, report it, stop it. To learn more or to report a fraud, you can contact the following:

Phonebusters: 1-888-495-8501, www.phonebusters.com

Call Phonebusters to report fraud. They are a national anti-fraud call center operated by law enforcement agencies such as the RCMP. They collect complaints and forward them to the appropriate law enforcement agencies.

Competition Bureau: 1-800-348-5358, www.cb-bc.gc.ca

RCMP: www.rcmp.ca/scams/scams_e.htm

The RCMP's website highlights the latest consumer scams and how you can deal with them.

Reporting Economic Crime Online: www.recol.ca

Canadian Council of Better Business Bureaus: www.canadiancouncilbbb.ca

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Seanhay

This forum is certainly a great way to double-check any major financial decisions you're going to make in your first few months after landing. Views may vary, but most of the forum members have been there done that. Merv was a great help, (even directing me telephonically to a testing station!), Stuart, Kerri, Ralph and a few other good friends we've made. Some assisted with small decisions others with larger ones but this forum made it possible to meet up and discuss.

Bottom line is don't do anything on the spur of the moment and 9 times out of 10 you'll be happy you followed that course. I've made silly decisions (fortunately not BIG financial ones) like buying an electronic device on a whim, at a big store, whilst by doing some internet research first, I could've saved a bit and got more features! So we live and learn! :angry:

Anyone selling something to you that Offers phenomenal financial returns or Has to have an immediate answer to a special deal (deal ends today! Or the special is only valid if you sign up now!) - err on the side of caution!! The skelms are not only in third world countries...... ;)

Edited by Seanhay

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
thelategans

How about all the stores that do their damdest to sell you an extended waranty. I beleive their is a place for these extended waranties, but know your product and do some homework before you commit. There is no doubt that this is a big money spinner for these stores.

Stuart

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Harry

I have added a running summary in the headline post to this thread. I'll try and build the list. If someone feels we are wrongly labeling a business type or issue, let's hear from you. The purpose here is not to blacklist businesses, but to help our members on the matter of how to proceed with their new lives in Canada...or, maybe, how NOT to proceed, as the case may be.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Harry

Another classic is the carpet cleaning businesses in these parts. There is generally nothing wrong with their carpet cleaning. The problem starts when they also try to offer furnace duct cleaning services, based on the idea of hooking their vacuum pump up to your ducts.

They tend to be a lot cheaper than the actual duct cleaners. Guess why?..it basically does not work! Some of them have the nerve to say they are afilliated with reputable shops like Sears. Watch out for these guys.

Again, the actual duct cleaners tend to have experienced no-nonsense "real-Canadian uncles". The carpet cleaning-duct-cleaners tend to employ lots of low paid immigrants. These guys are totally innocent, but it does not change the fact that they are just messing with your house. Even if the managers tells you that he is sending "his best guy, Dave", you'll notice that "Dave" speaks Farsi when he appears. "Dave" knows all about carpets. Dave knows nothing about furnaces and is just dirtying your house. "Dave" will even try to sell you additional furnace cleaning services ( which will boil down to sticking the vacuum hose in the furnace!)

So, if you want your carpets cleaned, get carpet cleaners. If you want your ducts cleaned, get duct people.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Karen

Well said, Harry - I could not agree more with your final statement in your posting.

My advice would also be to use the best company you can afford. The best does not mean the most expensive out there, but beware of those real bargains, which seem almost too good to be true.

I was badly burnt one year by a carpet company who came in at a very reasonable price, and who flooded my carpets causing them real damage. I could get no response from them when they were contacted and discovered that they were using a false business address. My only saving grace, was that I had withheld full payment, and could use the money for repairs.

I now only use reputable and checked out companies, who come highly recommended by friends who have actually used them too. I may pay a few more bucks, but the old adage , 'penny wise, pound foolish', has never proven more true.

Duct cleaning does not need to be done more than every three years, unless you are renovating and have a huge build - up.

On that topic, if anyone needs really first class carpet cleaners in the GTA, send me a PM and I will let you know who they are.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
alan
How about all the stores that do their damdest to sell you an extended waranty. I beleive their is a place for these extended waranties, but know your product and do some homework before you commit. There is no doubt that this is a big money spinner for these stores.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

According to Consumer Reports you should steer clear of these extended warranties. (Personally, with all the money I have saved on NOT buying these, my last purchase at futureshop was "free"). Consumer Reports only recommends them where you buy new technology such as a plasma or LCD TV which is expensive and still unproven in that they do not have a history. According to a friend of mine, the salespeople make a lot of commission from these policies and I have found that some of the sales people at Futureshop actually become rude when I decline them. You will be pressurised to buy the extended warranty - resist the temptation!

My feeling on electrical goods is that, generally, if they dont break down in the first few months they will probably last 5 years. At which point you will probably thinking about upgrading anyway. So far, in my life, not just in Canada, this has held true.

If you are ever tempted, for say your video camera, because you will be carrying it around and therefore feel it is more likely to be damaged, think again. These policies do not cover damage from dropping or even if sand or moisture gets in it. Ask for the policy and read it, you will see.

I can highly recommend a subscription to Consumer Reports magazine to everyone. They rate products (cars, electronics, foods, etc etc) against each other and also do surveys on repair histories which they publish so you can really make the right choice. When we first started using them I was surprised at how badly some of what I perceived to be good brands rated.

Consumerreports.org

On the timeshare front, my wife had a timeshare which was given to her as a gift from her parents many years ago. It cost them about $10000 and we decided to sell it as the fees were excessive and we could never get decent accomodation near where we wanted to be for a holiday and the time we wanted. We ended up getting about $2300 for it. If you want a timeshare unit, buy on the aftermarket, you will save yourself thousands of dollars. There are lots of web sites to do so and it is safe as the deal is handled by a title agent once you have agreed the details with the owner. If you do want to buy one beware of the ongoing fees you have to pay. We were paying around $800 a year plus around $240 to RCI in exchange and membership fees. We just reckoned we could find a half decent hotel for that amount for 8 days and have more flexibility.

Edited by alan

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
miena

Something else to be "cautious" of.....

Charity phone and door calls. The sheer volume is overwhelming! ;)

Not sure if this is happening in other areas, but in my area, I will at lease get 2-3 phone calls a week to support some sort of charity and Sunday door calls. I also, once having supported a charity, end up with countless mail items asking for more money forever more. Easy to get on the list, impossible to get off. Just so you know, the "charity collectors" get a % of the money they collect, which is why they persevere..

After a few years and understanding the "Charitable Donations" section in our taxes, we now have a list of who we will give to and who not. We review it each year and try as best as we can to honor the list. Sometimes it is tricky when you enter a building and flowers are being sold for Cancer or MS... :P

Also, your church contribution is deemed "charitable", so should be part of your allowance. Kind of felt strange in the beginning, but now we just add it to the list...

Our experience last year was a phone call for the "retired policemen". The proposal was a family pass to the circus (so called reputable). Reasonable for $25 for the family. So, why not, and it was in the Sky Dome (Rogers Centre). Once we arrived, we realized it was disgraceful. Everything used in the circus was 100 years old including the people. Pop was selling for $5 a tin and popcorn at $10. Now this is what I call a rip-off. I just received a phone call for the same thing and "blew-up" at the lady on the other side. She calmly listened and said. Well, after all this is for charity and if you do not want to go, how about sponsoring some poor children to go!

Be carefull, and brace yourself :(

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Linda

Miena

Here's a heads-up - the company that called you for the Circus calls for approximately 250 different charities. They represent the Circuses, Old Timers Hockey, All Star Baseball, Organizations for the Blind, Deaf, Pediatric Aids Juvenile Diabetes, Missing Children and so on aaaaaand so on ........ you get the picture. Good Luck with trying to get off their calling list - I was the "Customer Service Manager" for them for 2 years - and I handled all the escalated calls, which included death threats from irate folks. HOWEVER, no matter HOW MANY requests I entered into the computerized system for removal from the calling list, the list manager (based in Calgary - way out of the firing line) would perhaps enter the number on a "suspend" list, therefore it is not removed entirely, because they don't want to lose your number for other calling lists. They also "rent" those lists out to other telemarketing agencies at a fee per 1000 numbers, so those telephone numbers continue to generate income, even when the company itself is no longer calling you themselves.

The best way to get off their lists is to INSIST on speaking to a Manager, then threatening them with legal action - or tell them you are going to lay a charge of harrassment against them with the police. Sounds drastic, but believe me, this is the ONLY chance you have of getting off their lists.

With regard to the percentages earned by these so-called "professional fundraisers", each contract is negotiated with the individual client organization, but believe me when I tell you in some cases it can even be as low as 10% to the client, with the telemarketer raking in 90% of the monies raised (the charities I suppose think 10% is better than nothing). These telemarketers will never tell you the percentages as they know they don't stand a hope in hell of getting you to part with your hard-earned dollar if they do.

Needless to say I have moved on from this industry, and I will never part with my money over the phone. Better to earmark your charity and let them have the money direct from your pocket.

Edited by beans123
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
miena

Now I am worried. Ok, so how do I "earmark" a charity.. :P

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Linda

Miena

Your best best is to decide which appeal you wish to support and then to do some research (Internet is always a good source) on that charity, go to their website, see whether they have released their financial statements over the past few years, check out how they spend their money, what campaigns do they run and even "Google" those charities to see whether their organisation has been at the receiving end of any negative reporting in the media.

As "consumers" we need to spend our money wisely, particularly when we are spending it on charity.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Harry

The header post has been updated on the above subject...telemarketing donation collectors

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
miena

Thanks Beans and Harry,

Maybe say something about the "tax receipt". I am always told that if I give a "donation" less that $20 then I will NOT receive a tax receipt, and then they state some sort of "law". Difficult to argue when they stand in front of your door.. :P

I also wanted to understand this craze in Ontario (maybe its Toronto) about hydro. A Guy knocked on my door and said that he would like to see my hydro bill and of course I produced it. Next thing he was saying is that he can give me a 5 year fixed rate on my electricity which was higher than my current (2x). The idea is that if demand outweighs supply (showed me many graphs) then the price will rise, but I will be saved from the fluxuation.

My question. In principle it is OK. What concerned me was the actual fixed rate. Has anybody encountered this and is this good or bad. I have 14 days to review my decision..

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Merv
Next thing he was saying is that he can give me a 5 year fixed rate on my electricity which was higher than my current (2x).

If memeory serves me correctly, I think it was Digin, a few months back wrote about the Service Provider (Hydro in this case) are banking that the rate will go DOWN over the term of the agreement. In othere words they do not have your best interest at heart by any means.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Rochelle

Regarding the tax receipt for donations issue ...

It all depends how you render your tax return. If you mail it in, you are going to need that receipt to support your claim. However, if you file electronically, you don't need to submit any receipts. You only need the receipt if you subsequently get audited, which will only happen if there's something on your tax return that triggers a warning on the CRA's computer system (like excessive claims). So if you don't have a receipt, it's a chance you take ... one that I'm surely very willing to take!

Any amount that you donate to a registered charity (and some other institutions like housing corporations and the government) is eligible for a tax credit. Charities only put that $20 amount there to minimize their administration (and maximize their donations, no doubt!). Note that is THEIR rule, not the CRA's rule. For example, United Way has the same rule, but you can contact them for a tax receipt for any donations under $20, and they will give it to you.

What should be of greater concern to everybody making donations at their door, over the phone, etc. should be whether the charity is indeed a registered charity with the CRA, as only donations to registered charities are eligible for the credit. CRA makes a list available of all registered charities, as well as those deregistered. Click here for the lists, which are updated weekly.

And by the way, while we're on the topic, here's another tip regarding donations and tax. Do not claim your donations unless they are more than $200 (individually or combined with your spouse) in total for the year. The tax credit for the first $200 is only 16%, but 29% for the rest. You are allowed to carry forward donations for 5 years. So if you make donations of say $150 every year for 5 years, and you claim that every year, you will get a tax credit of $24 annually, so $120 over 5 years. However, if you carry forward those donations over 5 years, you would have donated $750, and you will receive a total tax credit of ($200 x 16%) + ($550 x 29%) = $191.50.

Also, be sure to combine your donations with your spouse if you have one, as the credit will be more. If you and you spouse each have $500 in donations, and you claim it separately, you will each get a tax credit of $119 (16% of $200) + (29% of $300). However, if you combine it, your tax credit will be $264 ((16% of $200) + (29% of $800)).

Phew .. make sense??

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Harry

Rochelle,

Your tax receipt story is a very important one to have in the "Money" section. Wont you please start us a thread there on "Donations and Tax Dedcutions" and open it with a copy of this post?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Rochelle

Yessir!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Harry

Fishy e-mails

This happened to me yesterday. It is not by any means exclusive to Canada, but you will be much more exposed to it here in North America than anywhere else.

Basically, people know who the typical service providers are, and they can simply add an "AT" sign and computer generate infinte numbers of names in front of that. They will get statistically lucky and generate a legitimate e-mail address. Even better for them, they pick your e-mail address up somewhere...Lord knows where. People will actually sell your e-mail address if they can get hold of it. Same with fax numbers. They then ASSUME you have a credit card-based account at a certain place they are targeting. Their challenge is to get you to surrender your credit card number willingly. To this end, they put up bogus websites that mimick the real ones exactly, and they then coax your info out of you.

Here is yesterday's actual example:

I have a Paypal account to cover internet purchases. Allied with this, I keep a credit card with a ridiculously low limit. Paypal have that number.

Now, the criminal knows how Paypal works. It is a well-known service, owned by eBay and also used by SACanada. South Africa is one of the few places NOT allowed to use Paypal, so you most likely are not familiar with it if you are in SA. The crook gets hold of an e-mail address somehow. They appear to now have mine. He/She either knows ( I hope not) or guesses (more likely) that I have a Paypal account. The crook knows that a credit card number is there somewhere. Their challenge is to get it out of me somehow so they can start buying on my name on my card.

So here's what they do: They create a bogus website that looks just like Paypal's login system. It even displays a link that reads like Paypal. This works just the same way as what we post links in SACanada:

Try this: www.sacanada.org.

See what I mean...you got Google, didn't you!?!! Now just imagine that Google is the crook's bogus Paypal site, complete with blocks to enter your credit card number, just as on Paypal. You log in and then they ask you to confirm all your security information and credit card. They grab it and .....Bingo! You lose your money.

So what happened?

NOTHING, because I did not fall for it. Everything about the e-mail looked legitimate, except that it was not my name that it was addressed to. That set off my warning bells. I f they had had my right name, they might have actually fooled me.

I now have an e-mail from Paypal to confirm the setup is bogus and they are investigating.

This is why I still insist on using the ZoneAlarm "firewall", despite having virus checkers and other security measures. It is to protect me against my own stupidity and to keep software on my machine from contacting the world out there unless I order it to or clear it permanently to do so.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now