Frauds and Scams


1. To inform students how to secure their financial information

2. To teach students to recognize the most common forms of frauds and scams

Subject Area

English Language Arts (K-12)


Introduce frauds and scams with the following discussion points:

  • What is a fraud? A scam?
  • Who can be targeted by a scam?
  • What is ATM fraud? Has anyone experienced or heard of anyone having experienced such fraud?
  • What is investment fraud? Has anyone experienced or heard of anyone having experienced such fraud?
  • Who generally carries out frauds and scams?
  • Does anyone know someone who has experienced online fraud? What are some of the types of online fraud?
  • What is implied by identity fraud? How does this happen?
  • What role does trust play in frauds and scams?
  • How can you protect yourself against frauds and scams?


Scam specialists

Length: Research 30 minutes, Jigsaw 40 minutes
Materials: Scam Specialists Handout, computer for research, five "stations" or areas for group work

  • In this activity, students will learn and teach their classmates about four common scams.
  • The first part of the activity is research. Assign students to groups and have them research one of the following frauds/scams: online scams, ATM scams, identity theft and investment scams. These are very broad categories, so have students record whatever they can (and provide some examples or cases) in the Scam Specialists Handout. You will not be able to cover all facets of fraud, however this activity is meant to introduce the idea of fraud to students, not overwhelm them with definitions.
  • Once students have filled out their portion of the Scam Specialists Handout, number each student in each group, always starting with number one (i.e. "Online fraud" group is numbered from one to five; "ATM fraud" group is numbered one to five, etc.)
  • Move all of the ones, twos, threes, etc. to form new groups. The idea is that each of the new groups have a representative from each of the original research groups. The representatives from each research group will take turns teaching their new group about their findings, allowing everyone else to complete their charts.
  • The activity is complete once all students' Scam Specialists Handouts are complete.
  • Note: If the original research groups differ in size, there may be two experts in the newly formed groups.


  • Create a fraud-awareness poster to inform other students about frauds and scams.
  • Have students discuss the Scams Specialist Handout with their families.

Collaborative Feedback

  • What did your family think about the fraud techniques?
  • As a group, establish five basic rules to help avoid frauds and scams.

Teacher Tips

  • Arrange for a guest speaker to come from the Manitoba Securities Commission, the Consumer Protection Office, the Winnipeg Police Service or the RCMP to talk to the class about frauds and scams.
  • Visit for more tips.

Pre- and Post-Assessment of Lesson

  • What do you know about frauds and scams that are operating in Manitoba?
  • What did you learn about frauds and scams that are operating in Manitoba?