March is the Alberta Community Crime Prevention Association’s (ACCPA) fraud prevention month.
Each year, the ACCPA hosts events for Albertans to learn more about the ways in which fraudulent activity impacts their communities.
However, due to the ongoing health pandemic, this year’s initiative will take place online. The ACCPA and supporting organizations, including the RCMP, will be highlighting topics including cyber-crime, identity-theft, phone scams, and more over social media. Albertans can follow the hashtag #FPM2021 to find fraud prevention information and resources.
Last year, the Alberta RCMP investigated a total of 10,504 reports of fraud, with 915 cases in March 2020 alone. Fraud–prevention education is key to keeping you and your loved one’s finances and personal information safe.
Frauds often front as banking or credit card services, government agencies, and even customer service representatives. Posing as seemingly trustworthy sources, scams con victims into providing their personal and, in most cases, financial information. Learning how to detect potential fraud is your best defense against falling victim to the crime. Alberta RCMP shares the following tips on how to spot a scam:
· Calls from unfamiliar area codes or numbers. Emails from unknown senders or addresses.
· Online or over the phone requests for immediate payments or money transfers, i.e. e-transfers, gifts cards, etc.
· When personal or financial information is requested via text, or email.
· Pre-recorded phone messages or voicemails from banks or government agencies.
· Be extra cautious when dealing with cheques from unknown parties.
· If you’re unfamiliar with how cryptocurrencies work, you should avoid dealing in them.
These are just some ways to identify potential fraud. If you are unsure of whether or not you are being targeted by a scam, check with family or friends, or visit the Government of Canada’s website to learn about common scam-types and how to protect yourself against them.
If you have been the victim of a fraud, report it to your local law enforcement and to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre online at www.antifraudcenter.ca, or by calling: 1-888-495-8501. Please contact your bank and credit card company if you believe your personal or financial information has been compromised.
For more fraud prevention information, follow us on Facebook @RCMPinAlberta and Twitter @RCMPAlberta.