This month is fraud prevention month.

The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre says its main goal is to educate Canadians about how they can help reduce fraud by reporting incidents to the proper authorities.

Jeff Thomson is an RCMP analyst and a leading expert in mass marketing fraud.

He says the main message this year is recognize, reject and report.

“To get people to recognize that fraudsters are using text messaging, e mail, internet, social networking sites to try and defraud Canadians. Reject, hangup, delete and don’t respond to them. And then report and if you’re not reporting we don’t know what’s happening,” he says.

North Bay Police work with the Canadian Anti Fraud Centre when they receive information from victims about a fraud incident.

Chief Scott Tod says co-operation with police agencies is essential to catching the bad guy.

“By collecting the information and working with the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre and their intelligence and tools we’re able to identify the facilitators of fraud. They’re the ones who are the small number of people who are actually behind many of these frauds who victimize citizens across Canada and around the world, Tod says.

Tod says the frauds back in 2005 were committed over the home phone but now they’re done on line. He says technology has worked for the criminal but it’s also being used by authorities in tracking down the fraudster.

The amount of fraud committed in 2005 was estimated at $20 million and last year it rose to $130 million. The 7th straight year that figure has been higher.

Thomson says every tip counts and help authorities track down the fraudsters.

He says the two biggest scenarios are extortion where you’re threatened to pay or you will be charged with a crime or the romance scam which concerns fake profiles on dating web sites.

To report call 1-888-495-8501.

(photo by station staff)

Filed under: Canadian Anti Fraud Centre, Chief Scott Tod, Jeff Thomson