RCMP arrest alleged ‘money mules’; Facial recognition concerns: CBC’s Marketplace consumer cheat sheet

Miss something this week? Don’t panic. CBC’s Marketplace rounds up the consumer and health news you need.

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Couple arrested over scam calls from India

Federal authorities have arrested a Toronto-area husband and wife accused of being Canadian accomplices to an enormous global scam involving overseas call centres, including the so-called CRA tax scam. RCMP Insp. Jim Ogden says Marketplace‘s 2018 and 2019 investigations played a big role in the arrests.  “It certainly helped that CBC did their exposé … that highlighted this a little more for all Canadians,” he said.

The couple are alleged to have acted as money launderers for those behind scam call centres operating out of India. (CBC)

Inquiry into flight-delay compensation

Ottawa requires airlines to pay up to $1,000 in compensation for flight delays or cancellations that are within their control and not safety related. But when an airline denies a passenger compensation, it must explain why, and complaints have been mounting from passengers that airlines aren’t adequately explaining their reasons. The Canadian Transport Authority says it will “take appropriate action” if it finds airlines aren’t playing by the rules.

The Canadian Transport Authority says it has received ‘multiple complaints’ from passengers about compensation for delayed or cancelled flights. (Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press)

More police using facial recognition technology

Privacy advocates are calling on all levels of government to create specific regulations around police use of facial recognition technology. Canada doesn’t have a policy on the collection of biometrics, which are physical and behavioural characteristics that can be used to identify people digitally. Because of that, there are no minimum standards for privacy, mitigation of risk or public transparency, according to the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada’s website. In that vacuum, some police departments have begun to use the technology.

The Competition Bureau says StubHub was advertising misleading ticket prices across various websites and mobile apps. (Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg)

StubHub fined $1.3M 

Ticket reseller StubHub will pay a $1.3 million penalty for making it seem as though some concert and game tickets were available at prices that no customer could ever obtain once fees are tacked on. The Competition Bureau says StubHub was advertising misleading ticket prices across various websites and mobile apps because fees and other charges weren’t included.

More police forces are trying out facial recognition technology, but privacy advocates say specific rules around its use are needed. (Photo illustration/CBC)

What else is going on? 

Toyota’s paint-peeling problem to be covered under ‘unprecedented’ extended warranty for certain models 
Extended warranty includes certain years of Camrys, Corollas, RAV4s, some as old as 2008.

Malls experimenting with fancy food halls to lure back shoppers
Shopping centres experimenting with new strategy in era when a growing number of people shop online.

New Canadian standard developed to make BBQ grill brushes safer after ingested bristles cause injuries
A new national safety standard for barbecue grill brushes will require a warning label and testing to reduce the risk of wire bristles becoming detached, embedded in food and accidentally ingested.

Here’s how produce stickers contribute to climate change
The stickers are too small to be screened out in the waste sorting process, but don’t break down during composting.

The latest in recalls

These sexual enhancement pills have been recalled due to an undisclosed prescription drug and the potential for serious health risks.

This can of aerosol has been recalled due to a flammability hazard.

This peanut spread has been recalled due to a Listeria concern.

This week on Marketplace

To catch a scammer with David Common

Join Marketplace for exclusive access to a police investigation connected to the scam calls that plague us all. 

For two years, we’ve zeroed in on scammers in Indian call centres targeting Canadians: posing as CRA agents, tech support workers or impersonating police and other government officials. 

Many of you have come forward sharing your stories and complaining about why authorities can’t do more to stop the scammers.  And we’ve always wondered: are there accomplices in Canada? 

We have exclusive access to the surveillance and arrest of alleged “super money mules” in Canada.  Our cameras are there as it all unfolds early one morning. We have a full update on how the scammers are adapting, the likely impact of enforcement actions, and how police will tackle it going forward.  

Even the Mounties tell Marketplace our previous investigations helped push top brass to launch federal enforcement efforts. And they say, it’s paying off now with arrests and the expectation of more to come. 

It’s a fast-paced, exciting episode that we’re really proud to show you all. 

Watch our full investigation and past episodes of Marketplace anytime on CBC Gem

Read more at CBC.ca

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