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Police release top 10 Canadian frauds of 2019

Photo by Andras Vas.

Kingston Police have released information from the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre (CAFC) regarding the most common and damaging fraud schemes of 2019.

According to police, the CAFC received 46,465 fraud reports from Canadian consumers and businesses in 2019. The total reported losses from these scams were $96,163,328.64. The following are the top 10 Canadian frauds reported in 2019, as reported to the CAFC. Police note that it is estimated that less than five per cent of fraud victims report their incidents to the CAFC.

  1. Spear Phishing (emails claiming to be from a known or trusted sender in order to induce targeted individuals to reveal confidential information) $21,404,827.08
  2. Romance $18,327,896.93
  3. Investments $10,719,376.29
  4. Extortion $9,233,115.11
  5. Service $7,158,372.64
  6. Prize $3,386,269.00
  7. Bank Investigator $3,237,667.43
  8. Sale of merchandise $2,686,904.31
  9. Merchandise $2,593,007.04
  10. Timeshare $2,477,196.56

Police have also released the following tips to help citizens protect themselves:

  • Create strong passwords for each of your accounts.
  • Setup 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 criminal offence.
  • Avoid reacting automatically. Take five minutes to ask additional questions and listen to your instincts. If something doesn’t seem right, ask someone else about it. Encourage others to take five minutes via social media by using #Take5 and tag @canantifraud.
  • 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. If you are going to tell two people via social media, use #Tell2 and tag @canantifraud.
  • Do not trust the information on your call display because it can easily be manipulated.
  • 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.

If you think you or someone you know has been a victim of fraud, please contact the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at 1-888-495-8501 or report online at www.antifraudcentre.ca. If you are the victim of fraud in the City of Kingston contact the Kingston Police at 613-549-4660 to complete a report.

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