What to do if you become a victim of fraud
As Fraud Prevention Month continues in Canada, we are sharing some tips from the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre on what to do if you become a victim of fraud.
It can be stressful to be the victim of a fraud or scam, but try to remain calm and make every attempt to collect evidence and information in regards to the incident, including:
- Copies of any communication (emails, text messages, etc.)
- Cancelled cheques
- Shipping envelopes
- Pamphlets or brochures
- Phone bills
- Notes taken as the events took place
Keep evidence items in a safe location in the event that you are requested to provide them. This information may form an important part of any investigation. The information you provide could be used as evidence during a prosecution. [Competition Bureau of Canada]
Contact your bank
Report any incidents of financial fraud to your bank and any financial institution for which you have a loan. You may have to take additional steps like flagging your acounts, changing your passwords and reporting to credit bureaus as well (TransUnion and Equifax).
Contact the police
Financial fraud and identity fraud should be reported to the authorities. Keep note of your file number and keep the file updated with authorities as updates continue.
One of the most important steps here is to report the fraud. Keeping organizations informed not only helps you in this process, but it can help inform the public if a greater risk is imminent.
- Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre: can be reached toll free at 1-888-495-8501 or you can report fraud online as well. This organization keeps track of fraud and scams across Canada.
- Service Canada: if your Social Insurance Number has been stolen, you should visit the nearest Service Canada Centre with proof of misuse of your SIN and any original identity documents to prove who you are (birth certificate or citizenship)
The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre estimates that less than 5% of the total number of fraud victims report their experiences to law enforcement agencies. By reporting a scam, you provide law enforcement with the information they need to stop fraudsters and help prevent others from becoming victims. The information you provide is important! [Competition Bureau of Canada]
Keep informed on more fraud tips on social media this month by searching #FraudPreventionMonth or #FPM2020.