Protect yourself from frauds and scams

To The Haldimand Press

Haldimand OPP is reminding the public to always protect their personal information and be extra vigilant to avoid being a victim of a fraud or a scam.

So far in 2021, there have been more than 50,000 fraud victims in Canada. The total amount lost in 2021 is currently over $144 million. These are only the ones reported. Approximately 95% of victims do not report frauds.

There are many types of frauds and scams, including The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) scam, the romance scam, and now, various frauds using the coronavirus pandemic as a tactic to get your money or personal information. COVID-related fraud from March 2020 to June 2021 saw 23,842 reports, 21,923 victims, and $7.6 million dollars lost.

It is more important than ever to stay educated on the different types of frauds and scams and to know how to protect your money and your identification.

Everyone, regardless of age, can take many basic steps to better protect themselves from becoming victims of fraud. It can be as simple as never giv- ing out personal information over the phone or over the internet. Always remember, if an offer sounds suspicious or seems “too good to be true”, it probably is.

Warning Signs
& How to Protect Yourself

  • Any documents with personal information on them should be destroyed rather than put in the garbage or recycling bins.
  • Change your passwords regularly – especially if you’ve been a victim of a data breach.
  • Keep anti-virus programs updated and run checks routinely.
  • Do not open emails from unknown sources or click on any links.
  • Beware of unsolicited emails or phone calls demanding personal information or immediate payment.

Investigating Fraud

The OPP Anti-Rackets Branch is the leader in the investigation of enter- prise crime. They provide specialized investigative resources to OPP Regions, Detachments, Bureau, Ontario municipal police services, and government ministries facing complex fraud investigations.

The Canadian Anti-Fraud Cen- tre (CAFC) is a police-led call centre that consists of OPP, Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the Competition Bureau, and community volunteers. The CAFC plays an important role in combating telemarketing fraud, letter fraud, and identity theft by educating the public and collecting and dissemi- nating victim evidence to the appropriate enforcement agencies.

Visit the CAFC website for more information on common types of fraud, fraud reporting, and prevention tips.

Getting Help

It’s not always easy to spot a scam, and new ones are invented every day. If you suspect that you may be a target of fraud, or if you have already become a victim, don’t be embarrassed – you’re not alone.

“FRAUD… Recognize it… Report it… Stop it.”

 

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