Fraud Prevention Month
Fraud is one of the fastest growing crimes across Canada, which is why numerous agencies across the province have teamed up for Fraud Prevention Month.
Year over year, the number of reported cases of fraud is on the rise. In 2012, the Calgary Police Service received 2,881 complaints, in 2013 that number rose to 2,961, and in 2014 the number of complaints topped out at 3,052.
In December 2014 alone, the number of fraud offences increased by nearly 30 per cent compared to the same time frame the year before.
On Monday, March 2, 2015, police agencies, consumer protection interest groups, and businesses, will come together to kick-off an annual awareness campaign to bring awareness to the most common frauds, and help provide consumers with methods to protect themselves. Fraud Prevention Month in Calgary will highlight the following topics:
- Week 1 – Identity Theft and Payment Card Fraud
- Week 2 – Scams Involving Seniors
- Week 3 – Mortgage Fraud
- Week 4 – Email and Online Scams
The first week focuses on a type of fraud that many people are familiar with as it affects all demographics of people. To protect your identity, the Calgary police and the Better Business Bureau offer the following tips:
- Protect your Social Insurance Number. Be sure to ask how your information will be used and don’t automatically give it out. Don’t carry your Social Insurance card with you and never print your Social Insurance Number on your driver’s licence or cheques.
- Don’t leave mail in your mailbox overnight or on the weekends. Always deposit outgoing mail in Canada Post collection boxes and consider installing a locking mailbox for incoming mail.
- Always check your credit or debit card statements closely for suspicious activity. Report any suspected fraudulent activity to your financial institution immediately.
- Make sure your computer has up-to-date anti-virus and anti-spyware software. Always install any updates to your computer’s operating system or browser software, and make sure your firewall is turned on.
- Always ensure wireless networks are secure before logging in. Don’t use public wi-fi or public computers to log in to websites containing your personal information.
- Check your credit report at least once a year. Check your credit score with TransUnion or Equifax. Look for any suspicious activity or inaccuracies that could affect your ability to receive loans or other financial aid.
Details of a media availability will follow in a separate advisory.