The Ontario Provincial Police have released startling figures, sharing that the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre (CAFC) has reported $283.5 million lost from 21,299 victims due to fraud so far in 2023.
“The OPP is reminding everyone to remain vigilant to frauds and scams,” the OPP said in a press release on Friday, Sept. 1, 2023 , adding that things online are not always what they appear to be.
According to the OPP, the CAFC is seeing an increase in job opportunity fraud. The invitations to job seekers are reportedly coming via text message, WhatsApp, email, or Messenger.
In the release, the OPP suggest everyone conduct research and confirm the legitimacy of organizations or transactions before continuing online. They also offered the following tips:
- Pump the brakes and ask more questions
- Ask for credentials
- Listen to the inner voice that says “this doesn’t sound right”
- Be leery of any request for cash or cryptocurrency
- Be cautious of the sense of urgency
- Select a reputable company and do your research
- Obtain a detailed, written contract for any work
“Remember: legitimate agencies will never pressure you for information over the phone or demand money immediately,” OPP said. “Knowledge is Power!”
Police added that anyone who suspects they have been the victim of cybercrime or fraud should report it to their local police and to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre’s online reporting system or by phone at 1-888-495-8501.