RCMP Alberta - March is Fraud Prevention Month in Canada. This month, the Alberta RCMP will be raising awareness about various scams and fraud to help prevent you and your loved ones from becoming victims.
“Fraud has a devastating impact on individuals, families, businesses and to the Canadian economy, which is why the RCMP believes that knowledge, awareness and prevention are the best methods for protection. The more you know about a scam, the less likely you are to be victimized. We want Canadians to recognize, reject and report fraud to authorities,” said Inspector K.C.A. (Allan) Lai, Acting Officer-in-Charge of RCMP “K” Division Federal Policing for Southern Alberta.
According to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre, the most common scams in Canada last year affected 11, 490 victims. These included:
· Romance scams: Fraudsters steal photos and use dating sites and social media to lure potential victims into sending money for various reasons.
· Wire Fraud scams: Financial industry wire fraud occurs when Canadian financial institutions and investment brokers receive fraudulent email requests from who they believe to be an existing client.
· Investments scams: An investment scam is any solicitation (telephone, mail, email, etc.) for investments into false, deceptive or misleading investment opportunities, often referring to higher than normal or true monetary returns which consumers lose most or all of their money.
· Merchandise scams: Involves deceptive websites selling counterfeit goods from existing retailers at discounted prices. They use the concept of a limited, one-time-only sale to attract online buyers.
· Job scams: Fraudulent solicitation offering employment and requesting an advance fee to secure the job.
· Service scams: Fraudulent promotion or solicitation for services.
· Extortion scams: Any person who unlawfully obtains money, property or services from a person, entity, or institution, through coercion.
· Prize scams: Any fraudulent solicitation advising victims they have won – or have a chance to win – a prize.
· Inheritance scams: Consumers receive a solicitation offering or requesting assistance to transfer a large sum of money from a foreign country.
· Sale of Merchandise scams: Involves the non-delivery of goods purchased online.
The following tips will help protect you from fraud.
· Don't be fooled by the promise of a valuable prize in return for a low-cost purchase;
· Be extra cautious about calls, e-mails or mailings offering international bonds or lottery
tickets, a portion of a foreign dignitary's bank account, free vacations, credit repair or schemes with unlimited income potential;
· Don't be afraid to hang up the phone, delete the email or close your Internet connection;
· Don't purchase a product or service without carefully checking out the product, service.
Every year, thousands of Albertans fall victim to fraud. Most people don’t think it could happen to them, but fraudsters use increasingly sophisticated ways to target people of all ages. In 2016, there were a total of 8,317 cases of fraud reported in Alberta RCMP jurisdictions from January to October.
If you or someone you know has been a victim of fraud, report it to your local police agency and the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre 1-888-495-8501 or report online at www.antifraudcentre.ca .