Fraud Prevention Month 2021: Watch out for Online Scams
As Canadians turn to online services and rely on the digital marketplace more than ever, it’s important they have the tools and information they need to protect themselves from online fraud. This March, online scams will be at the centre of the Fraud Prevention Month campaign.
2021 marks the 17th year of Fraud Prevention Month, and this year the Competition Bureau will join forces with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre (CAFC) to increase the reach of the fight against online fraud in Canada.
From Canadian consumers to big corporations, everyone is a potential target of fraud. Recent statistics from the CAFC show that in 2020 Canadians lost over $106.4 million to fraud, $62.6 million of which was related to online fraud. The actual impact of fraud is likely much larger as the CAFC estimates that Canadians report only 5% of actual fraud cases.
Anyone who believes they have been contacted by a scammer, is aware of a scam, or has become a victim is strongly encouraged to report it to the authorities. By reporting a scam, authorities will be able to warn Canadians, which may limit it from spreading.
This March, help us fight online scams. Knowledge is power! Join us in the conversation using #FPM2021 and find information to recognize, reject and report online fraud.
- The Competition Bureau’s campaign will focus on warning Canadians about online shopping scams and deceptive practices, including non-delivery of goods, subscription traps and fake online reviews.
- The RCMP and CAFC’s campaign will focus on warning Canadians about frequent digital frauds and scams and how to report them.
- The Competition Bureau initiated the Fraud Prevention Month campaign in 2004, with the support of the Fraud Prevention Forum. The Fraud Prevention Forum consists of more than 60 Canadian organizations, ranging from consumer and volunteer groups, government agencies, police services and law enforcement organizations, to private companies.
- The Little Black Book of Scams, 2nd edition is an online resource to learn about 12 common scams and available in 8 different languages.
- This March, follow our campaigns with #FPM2021:
“As Canadians increasingly rely on online tools to work, pay bills, shop and socialize, fraudsters are taking advantage of this situation, using technology to target their victims with scams that are more and more sophisticated. Fraud awareness is vital for Canadians to navigate the digital marketplace with confidence.”
Matthew Boswell, Commissioner of Competition
“Fraud has always been a crime that targets many, but since the beginning of the pandemic there has been a noticeable increase in reports of scams and fraud. Many of us have been relying on online services and methods of communication more than ever before and fraudsters are taking advantage of this. This Fraud Prevention Month, we encourage everyone to learn what fraud looks like and to share this information with their friends and family.
Michel Arcand, Assistant Commissioner, Federal Policing Criminal Operations, Royal Canadian Mounted Police
“Fraud and other cyber crimes are evolving at an incredibly fast pace. It is important for Canadian consumers and businesses to develop routine practices to help protect themselves. The CAFC encourages people to slow down, scrutinize and stay informed to reduce fraud. Learn to Recognize, Reject and Report fraud by visiting the CAFC website.”
Jeffrey Thomson, Senior RCMP Intelligence Analyst, Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre