The Not-So-Great Canadian Fraud Fairy Tale

Once upon a time, in the digital Great White North known as Canada, there was a not-so-fairy tale rise in fraud. In 2023, Canadians were swindled out of a staggering $554 million, a hefty increase from the $531 million in 2022 and a jump of $151 million since 2021. Fraudsters have been expanding their capabilities with identity fraud, service fraud, and phishing leading the charge as the most reported types of crime.

Identity fraud, is the main villain in this story where fraudsters steal personal information to commit fraud or other crimes, leaving a trail of financial chaos. In 2023, the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre received 116,403 reports, including at least 41,873 victims of fraud. With identity fraud at the heart of many of these scams, it’s clear that protecting personal information is more crucial than ever.

As we’ve journeyed from the era of telemarketing and mail scams to the age of social media and now the explosion of generative artificial intelligence, the Knights in our fairy tale stories are not winning the battles.  As the global army of fraudsters use technology employing tactics such as spoofing, phishing and emotional manipulation to deceive victims.

In response to this growing threat, Canadians need to become their own fairy tale story saviors by recognizing warning signs, rejecting suspicious claims, and reporting fraud to authorities, everyone needs to play a part in thwarting the nefarious plans of these criminals.

As we close this book on this chapter, remember in the battle against fraud, knowledge is your shield, and vigilance is your sword. Stay informed, stay skeptical, and together, we can outsmart scammers!

For more information and resources on fraud prevention I urge you to check out the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre’s website.

Kim Krushell