March marks Fraud Prevention Month across Canada — a month focused on encouraging people to recognize, reject and report fraud.
In 2022, the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre received fraud and cybercrime reports totalling a staggering $530 million in victim losses. That is a nearly a 40 per cent increase from the $380 million in losses in 2021.
"The amount of fraud that actually gets reported to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre is a lot less then what actually happens," said Kelowna RCMP fraud specialist Const. Ryan Gibb.
The centre estimates that only 5 to 10 per cent of people actually report fraud.
"There was a group going through for a while doing grandparent scams. A lot of the fraud that happens is through the telephone or through the internet. People will impersonate the police, say that we are going to come and arrest them If they don't pay money."
"The police will never ask for money. Anytime there is urgency in anything that is something ... maybe take a step back, ask somebody else about it. In this country the CRA is not going to come knocking on your door asking you for bitcoin or anything like that," Gibb added.
If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
If you or someone you know is a victim of fraud, you're encouraged to contact the Kelowna RCMP and the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.