Fraud-related offences, such as credit and debit card fraud, are now thought to be more numerous and as profitable as drug-related offences in Canada, according to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre. The RCMP’s Commercial Crime Branch estimates that Canadian fraud losses total between $10 and $30 billion annually. The majority of these crimes aren’t committed by kids at their computers, almost 80% are executed by criminal organizations.
All Canadians should be concerned about the impact of fraud: the de-stabilization of our national economy and the strengthening of organized crime groups. The impact on individuals, families and businesses is devastating: retirement savings, homes, businesses, and in some cases, lives, have been lost.
- Nearly 80% of all mass marketing frauds in Canada involve organized crime groups.
- Almost 58% of Canadian adults report that they were targeted during the past 12 months by 1 of 12 frauds
- Approximately 4% fell victim.
- 9 out of 10 Canadians speak to no one about the fraud attempt.
- 7% report being victimized by more than 1 type of fraud during the past year.
What can you do?
First, protect yourself by recognizing potential fraud pitches. If an offer seems too good to be true, it’s probably a scam. Whenever you’re asked to part with your money or provide sensitive personal or financial information, proceed with caution, especially with requests presented to you via telephone or e-mail.
Second, if you have been targeted by a fraud, don’t just ignore it – report it! Contact your local police service and report the fraud or attempted fraud to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at 1-888-495-8501 or www.antifraudcentre.ca
Finally, contact your Member of Provincial Parliament and your federal Member of Parliament. Politicians need to hear that Canadians are concerned about this issue.
For more information about the state of fraud in Canada, and about the RCMP’s efforts to deter it, please visit the RCMP’s Commercial Crime Branch website: http://www.rcmp-grc.gc.ca and visit the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre’s new website for the latest on emerging fraud trends, advice on protecting yourself, and victim’s guides that will help you recover from fraud loss: www.antifraudcentre.ca