March is Fraud Prevention Month: Recognize it, Report it, Stop it!

OTTAWA – March 1, 2013 – Every year, thousands of Canadians fall victim to fraud. Most people don’t think it could happen to them, but fraudsters are using increasingly sophisticated methods to target Canadians of all ages and from all walks of life. Fraud Prevention Month is an annual event that gives private and public organizations involved in the fight against fraud an opportunity to further raise public awareness.  Through awareness, Canadians can avoid becoming victims.

“Our government is committed to protecting families and that includes the development of initiatives that help inform Canadians about how to protect themselves from fraud-related crimes,” said Vic Toews, Minister of Public Safety.  “Canadians need to be vigilant about fraud not only during the month of March, but all year long and through public awareness, Canadians can be informed about how to better protect themselves.”  

All Canadians should be concerned about fraud because it can de-stabilize our national economy while strengthening organized crime groups.  The majority of fraud is not committed by amateurs.  More and more of these schemes are being attributed to organized crime. The impact on individuals, families and businesses is devastating – retirement savings, homes, businesses and in some cases, lives have all been lost. The good news is that the majority of frauds can be prevented by identifying the methods used by fraudsters. The more you know about a fraud, the less likely you are to fall for it. 

“Organized crime presents a serious threat to Canadian communities and is linked to a wide range of criminal activity, including fraud,” said RCMP Deputy Commissioner of Federal Policing, Mike Cabana.  “One victim is too many.  Recognizing fraud is the first step to better protecting yourself.” 

Being cautious is something to be proud of. Whether you’re shielding your PIN number from view or asking questions of telemarketers, don’t be afraid of offending people who are asking for your money. 

Over the next four weeks, the RCMP will be participating in a series of local and national fraud-awareness initiatives. To help reduce your chances of being victimized by fraud, consult the RCMP’s website during the month of March for tips aimed at keeping you safe from scammers. You can also follow us on Twitter at @rcmpgrcpolice.  Topics covered will include identity theft, phishing, on-line shopping and credit and debit card fraud.

Canadians can get information on how to protect themselves and their families from online threats, including cyber fraud, from Get Cyber Safe, the Government of Canada’s national cyber security public awareness campaign.

For more information on scams and fraud, as well as scheduled activities, please visit the websites of these, and other, organizations taking part in Fraud Prevention Month: