The pandemic has led to new COVID-19 related fraud in Alberta. From March 2020 to February 2021, there were over 10,700 reports of fraud in Alberta RCMP jurisdictions.
Impersonation- and identity-related incidents accounted for 19.4 per cent of all reported frauds for that same period.
The top ten frauds in Alberta RCMP jurisdiction are as follows:
- Fraud (money/property/security) less than or equal to $5000
- Identity fraud
- Fraud (money/property/security) greater than $5000
- Identity theft
- Theft, forgery, misuse of credit card
- Use/traffic/possess a forged document
- Illegal possession or trafficking in government documents
- Obtain food/lodging by fraud
- Fraud, obtaining transportation
- Unauthorized use of computer
Here are some tips to protect yourself by learning how to recognize and prevent fraud:
- Does this transaction make sense? If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is
- Ignore communication from unknown contacts
- Don’t leave personal identification cards in your vehicle
- Purchase items from reputable organizations
- Research organizations via the Better Business Bureau
- Regularly monitor credit card statements for unknown or suspicious charges
- Never send money on a dating site
This month, follow #kNOwfraud for fraud prevention tips on our social media accounts on Twitter (@RCMPAlberta), Facebook (@RCMPinAlberta).
If you have been the victim of a fraud, report it to your local police service and to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre online at: www.antifraudcenter.ca or by calling: 1-888-495-8501. You should also contact your bank and credit card company if you believe your personal or financial information has been compromised.