Cybercriminals have scammed Canadians out of more than $43 million this year, according to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.
In light of this number, the OPP is offering tips to prevent fraud and is also asking victims to immediately report the scam or fraud to the police. Even if there wasn’t a financial transaction, police are still encouraging the public to come forward about any fraudulent activity.
OPP say criminals continue to use traditional frauds and scams, such as phishing, service and romance, to extort money from people.
They say victims experience emotional impact and personal embarrassment and are not as likely to report the crime when they have fallen for a scam.
Police say the romance scam is an example of a fraud that is under reported. Even though there were 776 victims who lost $23 million last year, police believe the actual number is likely greater.
Police estimate that 95 per cent of these crimes go unreported.
OPP say if you are contacted by someone you believe is perpetrating fraud:
- stay calm and contact local police
- stop all communication with the scammer
- gather all records and correspondence
- notify financial institutions that accounts may be affected
- change passwords to accounts, including social media
- update computer security software.