Canadians lose more than $500M to scams in 2022: report

Fraud losses in Canada hit another record high last year, according to the RCMP.

In a report released Monday, fraud and cybercrime reports in 2022 cost victims over $530 million. It marks a 40 cent increase from 2021, when there was $380 million lost.

The financial losses are not due to more people reporting scams, however, with the report stating only five to 10 per cent of fraud victims report it.

A total of 70,878 reports of fraud were made last year, according to the centre, with over half (37,047) being victims of mass marketing fraud. Another 19,560 people reported cases of identity fraud.

Investment scams, particularly involving cryptocurrency, along with romance scams were among the most costly schemes to victims, the report outlined.

The numbers in the report were gathered through a partnership between the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre, the RCMP, and Canada’s Competition Bureau. The three agencies are collaborating during Fraud Prevention Month in March to educate people on the tricks fraudsters commonly use.

“As we see the amount of money lost to fraud continue to increase, our duty to protect each other grows more and more important. Fraudsters are using increasingly sophisticated methods to victimize Canadians while also relying on the basic tricks too,” said the RCMP’s Director General of the Canadian-Anti Fraud Centre, Chris Lynam.

“During this Fraud Prevention Month, I encourage everyone to take time to learn the signs of a scam or fraud, know how to report it and share this information with the people around you. It could take just one conversation with a loved one to prevent them from falling victim to fraud. By working together, we can prevent these crimes from happening.”

If you or someone you know is a victim of a fraud, contact your local police service to report the crime and also report it to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre online or toll-free at 1-888-495-8501.

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