New Langley City 7-Eleven launches with donation to Gateway

In this week's What's In Store column, find out about a new convenience store and gas bar, a new Kwantlen billboard company, and top scams.

An old Husky gas station and car wash came down several years back, and the corner site at 200th Street and 56th Avenue sat empty until late last year.

That’s when work began in earnest on a replacement gas bar and convenience store.

While the 7-Eleven store and Esso gas bar quietly opened last week, there was a little more pomp and circumstance on Saturday, when dignitaries came out for a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the Langley City business.

The neat thing about this grand opening – and I know it’s not a new idea, but it’s always nice to see – is this company kicked things off right by making a cheque presentation to a local charity. In this case, a donation went to the homeless shelter – Salvation Army’s Gateway of Hope.

“Homelessness continues to be an issue for the Greater Vancouver area and 7-Eleven feels it is important that local businesses do their part to help address homelessness in our communities,” the company stated in a media advisory.

This is the seventh store in Langley, the nearest just down the street three blocks, at the corner of 203rd Street and Douglas Crescent.

I just hope someone is going to make sure security measures are in place at this one, to ensure it isn’t overrun by drug pushers and prostitutes. Customers want to feel safe – myself included.

Trying hand at signs

It seems members from Kwantlen First Nation are getting into the sign business.

Seyem’ Qwantlen Business Group, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Kwantlen First Nation, is installing two digital billboard “systems” on their land in Maple Ridge that will “go live” by the end of the month with material designed and delivered by another Kwantlen business.

But their efforts don’t end with just the two boards north of the Fraser River, said Brenda Fernie, the vice-president of SQBG.

These two sites will be their first locations, but they “fully expect to expand to more in the future,” she added.

“So far, we’ve received a positive response from the Kwantlen membership, other nations, our business partners and neighbouring communities,” Fernie said.

“The opportunity will allow us to create economic wealth and create jobs for our nation. We are very proud to be the owner and operator of the digital billboards and look forward to serving our customers.”

Top 10 BBB scams

Better Business Bureau has released its list of most prevalent scams from 2016.

Last year, scammers took more than $90 million out of the pockets of Canadians in a menagerie of ways, from fake employment to online dating and misleading reviews. Check out the numbers.

BBBs across Canada put together a list of the most prevalent scams that targeted Canadians last year.

This year’s “nefarious list” is an amalgamation of information gathered from BBB’s Scam Tracker website, the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre and concerns brought forward by sponsors and community partners, explained Danielle Primrose, President, and CEO of BBB serving Mainland BC.

“The truth is, it’s not good news and the numbers don’t lie,” she said.

Canadians lost more money in 2016 than the previous two years. In fact, 50 per cent more than in 2015.

There is some good news, however, according to Primrose.

“Our number one scam from last year has been in decline. A call centre in India was raided and the dreaded Canada Revenue Agency Tax scam dropped off dramatically.”

She noted, however, that while the numbers for that scam remain down, it has not gone away entirely.

“The positive takeaway right now, is that there appears to be more reporting going on, which would explain some of the increase in money lost,” Primrose explained.

“But at the end of the day it still only represents at most five per cent of what was actually taken from Canadians. There is a lot more work to be done and a lot more awareness to be raised and a lot more reporting to do. Don’t be ashamed, let someone know if you’ve been scammed.”

The Top 10 Scams of 2016

1. Employment Scams – $5.3 million reported

2. Online Dating Scams – $17 million reported

3. Identity Fraud – $11 million reported

4. Advance Fee Loans – $1.1 million reported

5. Online Purchase Scams – $8.6 million reported

6. Wire Fraud – Spearphishing – $13 million reported

7. Binary Option Scams – $7.5 million reported

8. Fake Lottery Winnings – $3 million reported

9. Canada Revenue Agency Scam – $4.3 million reported

10. Fake Online Endorsements – $Unknown

“While we have focused on these ten scams, there have been thousands reported on the web page across North America since 2015,” Primrose said.

One of the key things people can do to prevent getting scammed is to regularly change their passwords to online accounts.

With that in mind, BBB is launching its second annual national BBB password day’ on Wednesday, March 15.

“We hope to inspire and remind Canadians about the importance of protecting their online presence. #bbbpasswordday”

If people spot a business or offer that sounds like an illegal scheme or fraud, they want to hear about it.

“Help us investigate and warn others by reporting what you know,” she said, encouraging people to visit www.bbb.org/scamtracker.

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