01/03/2018 4:59:31 PM
The shame and embarrassment of being caught by a scammer is one of the main reasons why only about five percent of fraud is reported by the authorities, according to Josephine Palumbo, deputy commissioner of competition and deceptive marketing practices at Canada's Competition Bureau.
The "three Rs" - Recognize, Reject, and Report- is the theme of Fraud Prevention Month, a public education campaign now in its 14th year under the auspices of the Fraud Prevention Forum, which is chaired by the Competiton Bureau.
"Recognizing and rejecting fraud is obviously key, but reporting is also very important because it's how law enforcement authorities gather evidence to bring down fraudsters and better protect consumers and businesses.
However, it is estimated that only about five percent is reported, which makes it very challenging for law enforcement agencies to do their job and to get ahead of perpetrators of fraud.
She points out that fraud is a crime that threatens every Canadian irrespective of age, education, or income. In 2017, the Bureau received 70,000 complaints, and in the three years from 2014 to 2017, Canadians lost an estimated $405-million, of which $94-million was lost by seniors in the 60 to 79 age group.
"We are seeing growing number of complaint related to cyber crime as criminals learn to use the latest platforms and technologies to commit frauds, things like phishing, smishing, emergency scams and wire fraud," says Ms Palumbo.
"For example, we advise Canadians to be careful when giving credit card or bank account details when buying on line, Read the fine print, check the URL, do some research on the product and vendor, be sceptical and, if you see something that doesn't seem right, then report."
With thanks to the Globe and Mail, March 7, 2018.