March is Fraud Prevention Month. Hold you applause. If you made it without being accosted by someone trying to con you, count your blessings, but don’t let your guard down! Scammers are out for your money, and your personal information, all 12 months of the year, and some people want us more prepared for that eventuality.
In all, there were 59,009 reports of fraud from Canadian consumers and businesses last year costing us approximately $97,654,160.35. That covers extortion, phishing, counterfeit merchandise, identity theft, romance fraud, and a wide variety of other schemes, and on top of that, only five per cent of fraud victims make a report. The real price of fraud is likely hundreds of millions more.
That’s why the the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre (CAFC) wants us talking more about fraud. The CAFC is the central agency in Canada that collects information and criminal intelligence on such matters as mass marketing fraud, advance fee fraud, Internet fraud and identification theft complaints. They’re not a police force, but they work with police forces across the country, including the Guelph Police Service, to raise awareness about fraud, and educate the public about how to combat it.
This week on the podcast, we’re joined by Jessica Gunson, the Acting Call Centre & Intake Unit Manager of the CAFC. Gunson shares her expertise about combating fraud by phone, online, and in-person. How do scammers get your personal information? How you know you’re talking to who you think you’re talking to? Gunson has those answers and she will also talk about how much fraud is going on right now, why you can just say ‘No’ to anyone that’s trying to sell you something, and what your best strategy should be when dealing with people who will do or say anything to get your money.
So let’s get smarter about fraud on this week’s edition of the Guelph Politicast!
If you are the victim of fraud, CAFC recommends that you is gather all information, report the incident to local law enforcement, and contact the Canadian Anti‐Fraud Centre toll free at 1‐888‐495‐8501 or through the Fraud Reporting System on the CAFC website. Also, report the incident to relevant financial institutions, websites, and report it to both Credit Bureaus: Equifax and TransUnion.
You can get more tips on how to prevent fraud at the Better Business Bureau, Equifax, the Ministry of Consumer and Business Services, the Ontario Securities Commission, Registered Charities, Trans Union, and, of course, the Guelph Police Service.
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