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Dubious distinction: Top 10 Canadian frauds that may cost you money

It is estimated that less than five per cent of fraud victims report their occurrences to the CAFC
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The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre, located in North Bay, has released its "Top 10" cyber-related frauds. October is "Cyber Security Awareness Month."

"The Internet, emails, and social media are increasingly used to target Canadians with false, deceptive, misleading, and fraudulent solicitations or demands. In 2019, cyber-related frauds accounted for nearly 30 per cent of all fraud reports and 40 per cent of reported losses.," says the Centre.

This growing trend is continuing in 2020.

It is estimated that less than five per cent of fraud victims report their occurrences to the CAFC.

Fraud type Reports Victims Losses (CAD)
Phishing 2,325 859 N/A
Extortion 2,244 81 $80,500
Merchandise 2,145 1,565 $2,206,500
Service 1,591 1,140 $1,783,600
Sale of merchandise by complainant 1,544 1,061 $1,436,500
Job 1,452 575 $1,866,000
Romance 905 647 $17,420,400
Spear phishing 783 420 $19,898,600
Grant 520 178 $590,800
Counterfeit merchandise 453 419 $136,000

Tips to protect yourself

  • Do not provide your personal or financial information on demand
  • Do not open an attachment or click a link in an unsolicited email or text message
  • When buying products online, research sellers thoroughly
  • Create strong passwords for each of your accounts
  • Set up multi-factor authentication to make it more difficult for someone else to access your accounts
  • Update the privacy settings attached to your social network accounts
  • Be familiar with the terms of service and how payment methods work before using them
  • Look for a fraud protection policy
  • Never, under any circumstances, accept money and send money to a third party
    • You may, unknowingly, be participating in money laundering which is a crime
  • Avoid reacting automatically. Take five minutes to ask more questions and listen to your instincts
    • If something doesn't seem right, talk to someone else about it
  • Remain current on frauds and protect others by sharing what you know
    • Tell two others and ask them to do the same
    • An unbroken chain of 25 people telling two would cover the entire population of Canada