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OTTAWA - December 16, 2010 - The RCMP and the Competition Bureau announce the launch of the National Mass Marketing Fraud Strategy. Mass marketing frauds (MMF) cost Canadian businesses and individuals more than $10 billion each year. These types of frauds have one thing in common: they use mass communications media such as the telephone, mail or internet to reach countless potential victims.

Mass marketing fraud began as telemarketing fraud back when the telephone was the primary means of communication used by scammers. Since then, the internet has changed the playing field, making it faster and easier for criminals to reach a vast number of victims merely by clicking “send”.

"Mass marketing fraud affects a very large number of Canadians and international businesses and consumers. It undermines people's confidence and trust in the marketplace and robs people of their savings, security and dignity. That's why it's more important than ever for law enforcement to work with each other and with our private and public sector partners in a coordinated, cooperative approach," said Assistant Commissioner Stephen White, Director General of Financial Crime for the RCMP. "The RCMP is proud to be one of the many in Canada who have made the pledge through the National Mass Marketing Fraud Strategy to work together to protect Canadians from fraud."

Today marks a new era in the way Canada deals with mass marketing fraud. Enforcement agencies across the country have banded together to develop a common strategy to deal with scammers who try to separate you from your hard-earned money. This strategy is built on three key pillars.

The central pillar is “Intelligence and Analysis”. The analysis of fraud data provided by citizens, businesses, government and police is crucial to identifying fraud artists and determining how they commit their crimes. Analysis of this information provides crucial intelligence for the police and private sector. More information means more intelligence, which ultimately helps protect the public.

A solid “Intelligence” pillar provides the information that helps strategically direct the activities of the “Prevention Through Education and Awareness” pillar. Accurate intelligence allows the agencies that protect Canadian citizens and businesses to target the right messages, to the right people, at the right time. More effective education and awareness initiatives will allow Canadians to better arm themselves with the tools they need to avoid being victimized by frauds. Under this strategy, enforcement agencies are working more closely than ever with the private sector to share information and deter crime. After all, preventing frauds from happening is easier than trying to recover lost funds.

Lastly, the “Intelligence” pillar also strategically directs the activities of the third pillar, which is “Effective Enforcement and Prosecution”. Like the “Education and Awareness” pillar, accurate and timely intelligence will help enforcement agencies identify the key crime groups causing the most serious damage to Canadians. This intelligence will also help identify scammers who commit their crimes across municipal and provincial borders, bringing them to justice from wherever they operate.

Uniting with a common National Mass Marketing Fraud Strategy is good for Canadians, good for Canadian businesses, good for the economy and really bad for criminals. Canada needs this strategy for three simple reasons:

  • It will keep all fraud prevention stakeholders working toward the same goal, namely deterring mass marketing fraud
  • It will allow for common threat identification through intelligence gathering
  • It will help investigators identify criminal connections among small-scale frauds operating “below the radar” in various parts of the country

"Mass marketing fraud is a growing problem that affects Canadians. The need to work with private and public sector partners, as well as law enforcement agencies is more important than ever," said Lisa Campbell, Deputy Commissioner of Competition. "The Competition Bureau is proud to support the National Mass Marketing Fraud Strategy to strengthen and leverage these partnerships and help protect Canadians more effectively."

The key to disrupting fraud is awareness – when people can identify an e-mail or a phone message as a fraud, they don’t fall for it. The value of the national mass marketing fraud strategy is that through education and awareness initiatives, it will ultimately help Canadians identify frauds on site, thereby reducing victimization.

Resources

To learn more about mass marketing fraud, please visit the following sites:

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For more information:

Royal Canadian Mounted Police
Media Relations
(613) 843-5999

Canadian Anti Fraud Centre
1-888-495-8501