Calgary, AB,

Fraud Prevention Month kicks off with an expert panel

The Calgary Police Service is joining together with local, provincial and national partners to kick off Fraud Prevention Month with an expert panel discussing the current state of fraud in Calgary, and how citizens can protect themselves.

Last year in Calgary, approximately 4,500 citizens lost over $61 million to fraudsters through various in-person, online and telephone scams.

As fraud is becoming even more common and is victimizing citizens through many different platforms, the Service has partnered with Mount Royal University to host a panel discussion in an effort make Calgarians more fraud aware. The panel will consist of fraud and cybersecurity experts from different backgrounds, including representatives from CPS, Mount Royal University, Service Alberta, the Better Business Bureau, Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre, Real Estate Council of Alberta, Calgary Chamber of Commerce and Vintri Technologies. The Bank of Canada will also be onsite to educate students about how to spot counterfeit currency.

“As technology evolves, so do the tactics that scammers use to defraud victims,” says Staff Sergeant Jeremy Wittman of the CPS Cyber/Forensics Unit. “With a touch of a button or a simple phone call, scammers can target citizens all over the world. Citizens need to be aware of this so that they can recognize a potential fraud and protect themselves.”

“It’s critical that businesses and individuals educate themselves on the latest fraud developments so they can take the necessary steps to protect themselves and their interests,” says Kelly Sundberg, co-founder of the Public Safety and Security Research Group (PSSRG) at Mount Royal and an Associate Professor in MRU’s Department of Economics, Justice, and Policy Studies. “At the PSSRG, we are dedicated to generating knowledge in the areas of public and community safety – including cybersecurity – and sharing that information through education, training and needs assessment.”

For the month of March, CPS will continue working with partners to increase fraud awareness and provide citizens with methods they can use to protect themselves. This year, Fraud Prevention Month will focus on the following themes:

  • Week 1 - Cybercrime
  • Week 2 – Mass Marketing Scams
  • Week 3 – Business/Service Scams
  • Week 4 – Financial Crime

CPS is hosting multiple Fraud Prevention Month events for the public throughout March, including a cybersecurity seminar for large businesses, a fraud prevention seminar for citizens, and a fraud awareness day, which will take place on Saturday, March 17, 2018, at Cross Iron Mills mall. Fraud prevention partners will also be in attendance at the fraud awareness day at Cross Iron Mills to answer any fraud-related questions.