$379 million lost to scams and fraud in 2021

Ottawa, Ontario – Last year was a historic year for financial losses reported to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre (CAFC). Based on reports to the CAFC, $379 million were lost to scams and fraud in 2021, which was an increase of 130% compared to 2020. The continued prevalence of scams and fraud is why the CAFC, Royal Canadian Mounted Police and Competition Bureau are once again joining forces this March to lead the 18th annual Fraud Prevention Month.

Increasingly, and especially over the past two years during the pandemic, many of us have turned to online services and devices to carry on with our daily activities. Despite all of the ways the Internet can help us, we need to remain vigilant as we don’t always know who is on the other side of our screens. Many fraudsters use impersonation tactics to pose as a trusted source to steal money or personal information. This is why the Fraud Prevention Month 2022 campaign will focus on impersonation scams.

$379 million lost to scams and fraud in 2021
$379 million lost to scams and fraud in 2021

Help us raise awareness by following us on social media, using #FPM2022, and sharing what you learn with those around you throughout the month of March. Let’s work together to recognize, reject and report fraud!

If you are the victim of a scam, fraud or cybercrime, please contact your local police. It is also essential that you report an incident, whether you are a victim or not, to the CAFC via their Online Reporting System or by phone at 1-888-495-8501.

Quotes

“Fraud is having real impacts on individuals, businesses and organizations. Many don’t think it could happen to them but last year’s jump in reported financial losses demonstrates that that’s not true. While law enforcement and partners continue to work to prevent and disrupt fraudsters, we need Canadians to learn how to protect themselves and always report.” Chris Lynam, Director General of the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre and the National Cybercrime Coordination Unit, RCMP

“Raising awareness about fraud committed online is crucial to protect our communities. As criminals often target vulnerable people, the RCMP is committed to work with its partners to assist in the prevention and detection of these offences.” Supt. Denis Beaudoin, Director of Financial Crime, RCMP

“Impersonation scams have become increasingly more sophisticated. Fraudsters have taken advantage of consumers as we’ve grown more reliant on the Internet to shop, socialize and for entertainment. This Fraud Prevention Month, the Bureau and its partners are helping Canadians recognize, reject and report scammers trying to rob them of their hard-earned money.” Matthew Boswell, Commissioner of Competition

Quick Facts

The CAFC estimates that only 5% of fraud cases are reported.

Based on reports to the CAFC, the scams that resulted in the highest financial loss in 2021 were investment scams, with losses exceeding $269 million. This was a new trend seen by the CAFC, with a noticeable increase in cryptocurrency investment scams.

Based on reports to the CAFC, the top five most reported scams and fraud in 2021 were extortion, phishing, merchandise scams, service scams and vendor fraud.

By reporting to the CAFC, you are assisting law enforcement by contributing to a national repository of information to assist investigations and support prevention and disruption efforts.

The CAFC and the RCMP’s National Cybercrime Coordination Unit are working together to develop a new national reporting system for individuals, businesses and other organizations to report fraud and cybercrime incidents to law enforcement. The new system is expected to officially launch in 2023-2024.

Canada RCMP

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