In the past decade, technology has completely transformed the criminal landscape, making fraud easier to commit, more widespread, and more sophisticated than ever before.
In 2022, the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre received fraud and cybercrime reports totalling a staggering $530 million in victim losses. Nearly a 40% increase from the unprecedented $380 million in losses in 2021. Unfortunately, the increase in financial loss isn't tied to an increase in reporting—the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre estimates that only 5 to 10% of people report fraud.
The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, and the Competition Bureau are once again joining forces this March to lead the 19th edition of Fraud Prevention Month. Under the theme "Tricks of the trade: What's in a fraudster's toolbox?", this year's campaign will expose fraudsters' tricks, tools and tactics, to help Canadians equip their own toolbox to protect themselves.
While law enforcement agencies and members of the Fraud Prevention Forum are committed to strategically collaborating and dedicating resources to preventing and combatting fraud, Canadian consumers and businesses also have a huge role to play to help stop fraudsters. Education and awareness are the strongest line of defence against scams and fraud.
This March, join the conversation using #FPM2023 to find and share information to recognize, reject and report fraud. Follow us on social media and spread the word far and wide:
- Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre Twitter and Facebook
- RCMP Twitter and Facebook
- Competition Bureau Twitter and Facebook
If you or someone you know is a victim of a fraud, contact your local police service to report the crime and also report it to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre online or toll-free at 1-888-495-8501. If a financial loss did not occur, still report it to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre. If you have information about deceptive marketing practices, report it to the Competition Bureau. Your reports are essential to identify linkages, catch criminals, and prevent further victimization.
- In 2022, the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre received a total of 70,878 reports and 37,047 of these reports were victims of mass marketing fraud. Additionally, the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre received reports of 19,560 victims to identification fraud.
- The top three most reported types of fraud this past year were phishing, extortion and personal information scams, all frauds designed to get you to pay or give away sensitive information like your Social Insurance Number, passwords or banking details.
- The 2022 top three frauds with the highest levels of reported victim losses were investment scams, particularly cryptocurrency fraud, romance scams, and spear phishing.
- The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre is jointly managed by the RCMP, the Competition Bureau, and the Ontario Provincial Police.
- Due to the overlapping nature of fraud and cybercrime, the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre works closely with the RCMP's National Cybercrime Coordination Centre.
- The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre and National Cybercrime Coordination Centre are currently working together to develop a new national cybercrime and fraud reporting system. The System is in BETA operation and, once fully operational in 2023-2024, it will improve the public reporting of cybercrime and fraud incidents for operational and user experience purposes.
"As we see the amount of money lost to fraud continue to increase, our duty to protect each other grows more and more important. Fraudsters are using increasingly sophisticated methods to victimize Canadians while also relying on the basic tricks too. During this Fraud Prevention Month, I encourage everyone to take time to learn the signs of a scam or fraud, know how to report it and share this information with the people around you. It could take just one conversation with a loved one to prevent them from falling victim to fraud. By working together, we can prevent these crimes from happening."
RCMP's Director General of the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre and National Cybercrime Coordination Centre, Chris Lynam
"Fraudsters have developed new sophisticated tricks and tools to take advantage of Canadians in the digital economy. This Fraud Prevention Month, the Competition Bureau will help Canadians recognize, reject and report online deceptive marketing practices used by scammers to entrap victims and perpetrate fraud."
Matthew Boswell, Commissioner of Competition