March is Fraud Prevention Month

Rural Crime Watch report

Fraud-related offences are now thought to be as profitable as drug-related offences, estimated at between $10 and $30 billion annually in Canada by the RCMP’s  Commercial Crime Branch. The majority of these crimes aren’t committed by kids at their computers, almost 80 per cent are the work of criminal organizations.

Fraud should concern all Canadians because it de-stabilizes our national economy and strengthens organized crime groups.  The impact on individuals, families and businesses is devastating: retirement savings, homes, businesses, and in some cases, lives, have been lost. While fraud losses are serious, the good news is that the majority can be prevented by identifying the methods used by fraudsters.

Fraud Prevention Month is an annual event that gives private and public organizations involved in the fight against fraud an opportunity to raise public awareness.  “It’s important for everyone to be careful and to be alert to possible frauds. I hope people take what they learn during Fraud Prevention Month and apply it throughout the year,” said RCMP Superintendent Steve Foster, Director of the RCMP Commercial Crime Branch.

Over the next four weeks, the RCMP will be participating in a series of local and national fraud-awareness initiatives.  To reduce your chances of being victimized by fraud, check the RCMP’s website daily during the month of March for tips aimed at keeping you safe from scammers.  Topics covered will include identity theft,  phishing, on-line shopping, social networking and credit and debit card fraud.

We will post their tips as received on our Rural Crime Watch web site’s main page under Bulletins.

If you receive questionable emails or phone calls, please contact us at one of the numbers listed on our web site.

Article courtesy of Jon McCormick/Rural Crime Watch