It’s Fraud Prevention Month, and the OPP is reminding everyone to stay vigilant about scams.
Canadians lost and estimated $379-million to fraudsters in 2021, $149-million in Ontario alone, according to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre. That’s a sharp increase from the nationwide $164-million in 2020.
As such, the OPP and the centre are providing some advice to protect yourself:
- Do not give personal information to unknown callers, even if the number seems legitimate, as that information is easily faked by call-spoofing.
- No government agency will ever call to tell you your Social Insurance Number is blocked.
- If someone calls claiming to a family member in an emergency situation, hang up and call them back directly.
- If a call claims to be from law enforcement or asks you to press one to speak with an officer, hang up and call your police directly.
- Be wary of any call or email that tries to make you take immediate action.
Officials say to always listen to your inner voice when thinking “this doesn’t sound right.”
If you’ve been the victim of fraud, report it to your local police, and to the Canadian Anti Fraud Centre at 1-888-495-8501 or online, regardless of whether you lost money or not.