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Law Maven
Law Maven, Lawyer
Category: Canada Law
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Experience:  Lawyer & Instructor at Algonquin Careers Academy
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If someone advertises (on stationery, business cards and public

Customer Question

If someone advertises (on stationery, business cards and public listings, etc) that they have a specific designation that they don't have, is that fraud?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Canada Law
Expert:  Law Maven replied 2 years ago.
Hello – my name is***** am a lawyer, and I’ll be happy to help with your question today.
Expert:  Law Maven replied 2 years ago.
There are several possible offenses that apply to a person advertising that they have qualifications when they do not. Fraud, under the Criminal Code, requires proof not only that the person was lying, but that they were doing it with the intention of getting a financial advantage. So getting a business card that says "Mr. X, MD" as a joke is not fraud. But if instead of joking around that person tried to sell their services as a medical doctor they would likely be committing fraud. The other thing that applies though, is that many professions have specific rules about who can say that they belong to that profession. So for instance if a person is not qualified to be a lawyer and registered with the Bar or Law Society in the location where they hand out the business cards, they can also be prosecuted for practicing law without a license to do so. If you are looking for information regarding a specific designation and a specific province or territory I could possibly give you a more detailed answer regarding what laws apply. But in general it's safe to say that someone who tries to do work as though they have a professional designation when they don't is likely to get into legal trouble. I hope I have fully answered your question, but please do not hesitate to ask for more information if needed. When you are satisfied with the answer, kindly provide me a positive rating so I can receive credit for my answer. My answer here contains only general legal information and not legal advice. No solicitor/client relationship has been created by this communication.

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