Think you’ve been defrauded? What to do

(NC) Thousands of Canadians lose millions of dollars to fraudsters every year. Anyone — from teenagers to grandparents to corporate executives — can be a target. Yet, only 5 per cent of fraud is reported to the authorities.

If you’ve been the victim of fraud, the best thing you can do is report it, whatever the amount, to the appropriate authorities. Don’t be embarrassed if you were taken in — you are not alone. By reporting it, you will help others avoid the same trap. And, in most cases, the financial institution will open an investigation and the money you lost will be returned to you.

Remember, protecting your personal information is essential to avoiding fraud. If you see a suspicious or unusual transaction on one of your accounts:

  • Change your PIN immediately and report the fraud to your financial institution and the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre. Also let them know of any suspicious correspondence you receive regarding your account(s).
  • When contacting your financial institution, make sure to use the telephone number found on your account statement or on the back of your credit or debit card.
  • If you receive any deceptive emails, you can send a complaint to the Spam Reporting Centre. Financial scams often involve sales offers or promotions about financial products and services, such as pensions, managed investment funds, financial advice, insurance, or credit or deposit accounts.

The Competition Bureau of Canada has an excellent guide called The Little Black Book of Scams that provides a great deal of other useful information. Find more information, as well as advice and tools to protect yourself, at Canada.ca/money.