The Reality of Fraud 


In 2020, the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre (CAFC) received 101,483 fraud reports involving nearly $160 million in reported losses. Moreover, 67,294 of the reports were from Canadian consumers and businesses, that reported losses totalling more than $104.2 million.  People don’t fall for scams because they are stupid or gullible, they fall for them because the fraudsters are masters of deception. They know what to say and how to say it so that you feel flustered and scared and comply for fear of what will happen if you don’t.  What’s even more disconcerting is they will take advantage of your kind heart and/or desperate financial situation. The CAFC is the central agency in Canada that gathers information and criminal intelligence on all different frauds including romance scams, advance fee fraud, identity theft and mass marketing fraud (ex: send out thousands of e-mails requesting personal information under false pretenses hoping that someone will bite). By visiting the CAFC website, you can learn about the trending scams, how to spot them and how to report it. Outlined below are the most common scams our members have encountered, signs indicating you have been scammed and step-by-step instructions to follow if you are targeted.​

Trending Scams

Other Prevalent Frauds

I’VE BEEN SCAMMED! WHAT DO I DO? 

Depending on the scam, some of the following actions may not apply, however, most of these steps should provide damage control for most frauds and prevent re-occurrence. 

  • Contact both of the Canadian credit reporting bureaus; TransUnion and Equifax: Advise them of the incident. Ask them to place a “Fraud Alert” on your bureau. Any time a creditor makes an inquiry on your bureau they will see the “Fraud Alert” and contact you at the number you provided to confirm the individual applying for credit in your name actually is you. 

          TransUnion: 1-800-663-9980 select option 3

          Equifax: 1-800-465-7166

  • Contact your financial institution: They may place a note on your account to ask for ID before each transaction, change your online banking password or close your account and open a new one with a different account number.  This will all depend on the type and severity of the fraud.

  • Contact your credit card companies: (especially if you pay them online!) Advise them of the incident and cancel your cards immediately and have them reissue replacement cards. They will also review the recent transactions on your card to ensure they are authorized.  Get your computer “cleaned”. If the scam was perpetrated online, or involved your computer in any way, you should ensure that it is free of viruses and that no malicious software was installed on your computer before you use it again.Report the fraud. You can report the fraud to your local police station or do so anonymously online through the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre or call them Monday – Friday between 10 am and 4:45 pm (eastern standard time) 1-888-495-8501 If you have any questions regarding fraud, whether it is prevention tips or you suspect you may be involved in a scam, please do not hesitate to reach out to us for advice.  Don’t be shy and don’t be embarrassed.  We aren’t here to judge; we are here to help.

   

Oshawa Community Fraud Ambassadors 

Linda Treen 

Administration Manager/Compliance Officer

Amy Munro

Member Services Representative