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Record half-billion dollars lost to fraud in Canada

By Richmond Sentinel

Published 12:03 PDT, Tue March 28, 2023

Fraud costs us hundreds of millions of dollars each year and in 2022, reports of fraud in Canada reached an all-time high.  
Canadians reported losing a record $530 million to fraud and cybercrime in 2022 according to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre (CAFC), up almost 40 per cent compared to the previous year. The actual extent is most likely even greater, as the CAFC estimates that only a small minority of fraud victims actually file a report.

"Fraud is as much a crime as any other, yet less than five per cent of the tips Crime Stoppers receives relate to fraudulent crime, and criminals shouldn't get away with it," says Linda Annis, executive director of Metro Vancouver Crime Stoppers.

"If you have information that could lead to an arrest regarding a fraud or any other crime, call us and pass on the information anonymously. We guarantee your identity will remain totally unknown, you will never go to court and could be eligible for a cash reward of up to $5000. We're available 24/7 for anyone wishing to provide information anonymously and we can take your information in 115 languages."

The three fraudulent crimes with the highest levels of victim losses in 2022 were:

  • Investment scams including cryptocurrency fraud that accounted for 4251 victims losing $308 million.
  • Romance scams (1056 victims lost $59 million).
  • Spear phishing targeted especially at businesses (739 victims lost $58 million).

Avoid being a victim


Now that we rely so much on technology for everything, email scams, malware and hacking have become greater threats. To stay safe, prevention is key.

  • Limit the personal information you submit on websites (e.g. do not give your social insurance number or other private information).
  • Avoid opening unsolicited emails, links, and files in unknown emails.
  • Report any and all cyber-attacks and crime to the police.
  • Hire an I-T professional or cyber-security contractor to monitor your business network.
  • Connect with the Canadian Cyber Incident Response Centre for additional advice on preparing for, and handling, cyber-events.

Shopping online

  • Check banking and credit card records regularly for incorrect transactions or purchases from unfamiliar people or companies.
  • Watch for mobile alerts from your bank or credit card company.
  • Be wary if family members have a sudden inability to pay their bills and start asking for loans, and watch for secretive behaviour when they make phone calls.
  • Make sure your Wi-Fi is password encrypted and your security software is up to date. Avoid doing your banking on public Wi-Fi connections.
  • Be cautious when browsing on your mobile phone because URLs are shortened and may hide information.
  • Use websites that start with "https", they use encryption policies to protect your information. Use only websites that show an encryption "lock" in the top corner.
  • Ensure you know who you're buying from online—and be cautious when purchasing tickets. Buy only from a trusted source. 
  • Use a secure payment site such as PayPal unless you know who you're paying money to.
  • Register your credit card with Verified by Visa, Mastercard Secure or American Express SafeKey for added security.
  • Get familiar with your consumer rights from Consumer Protection BC. 

Anonymous tips may be provided through Crime Stoppers’ downloadable “P3” app for Apple and Android phones, calling Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477, online at, or go to the Metro Vancouver Crime Stoppers Facebook page. 

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