SOUTH SIMCOE POLICE SERVICE
The South Simcoe Police Service is supporting Fraud Prevention Month by highlighting frauds circulating in our communities and providing prevention tips.
The theme for this year’s campaign is “Tricks of the trade: What’s in a fraudster’s toolbox?” to expose fraudsters’ tricks, tools and tactics in order to help residents protect themselves.
In 2022, the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre (CAFC) received fraud reports totalling a staggering $530 million in victim losses. This was nearly a 40 per cent increase from the 2021, unprecedented $380 million in losses. In 2021, approximately 75 per cent of all reports the CAFC received were cyber enabled, and this is expected to increase year over year. It is estimated that only five to 10 per cent of victims report scams and frauds to the CAFC or law enforcement.
According to the CAFC, in 2022, the top frauds affecting Canadians on a daily basis were:
- Investment frauds represented $308 million in reported losses in 2022. Ontario victims reported losing over $136 million.
- Romance frauds represented $59 million in reported losses in 2022. Ontario victims reported losing over $20 million.
- Spear phishing frauds (business email compromise) represented $58 million in reported losses in 2022. Ontario victims reported losing over $21.1 million.
- Service scams represented $20.5 million in reported losses in 2022. Ontario victims reported losing over $8.1 million.
- Extortion frauds represented $19 million in reported losses in 2022. Ontario victims reported losing over $4.8 million.
How fraudsters use technology:
Fraudsters will create spoofed websites, will use spoofed telephone numbers using voice over internet protocol (VoIP) to mimic legitimate numbers, will have victims download remote entry software providing access to devices and computers or send out phishing texts pretending to be businesses or governments offering refunds.
How to protect yourself from frauds and scams:
- Don’t be afraid to say no or hang up the phone
- Do your research and verify information
- Don’t give out personal information
- Beware of upfront fees
- Protect your computer
- Be careful who you share images with
- Protect your online accounts
- Recognize spoofing
- Don’t be pressured into immediate action
Remember, if it seems too good to be true, it is. Always report fraud and fraud attempts to police and the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.