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2021 Was Historic Year for Reported Losses

Last year was a historic year for financial losses reported to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre (CAFC).

Based on reports to the CAFC, $379 million were lost to scams and fraud in 2021, which was an increase of 130% compared to 2020. The continued prevalence of scams and fraud is why the CAFC, Royal Canadian Mounted Police and Competition Bureau are once again joining forces this March to lead the 18th annual Fraud Prevention Month.

Increasingly, and especially over the past two years during the pandemic, many of us have turned to online services and devices to carry on with our daily activities. Despite all of the ways the Internet can help us, we need to remain vigilant as we don’t always know who is on the other side of our screens. Many fraudsters use impersonation tactics to pose as a trusted source to steal money or personal information.

If you are the victim of a scam, fraud or cybercrime, please contact your local police. It is also essential that you report an incident, whether you are a victim or not, to the CAFC via their Online Reporting System or by phone at 1-888-495-8501.

Quick Facts

  • The CAFC estimates that only 5% of fraud cases are reported.
  • Based on reports to the CAFC, the scams that resulted in the highest financial loss in 2021 were investment scams, with losses exceeding $113 million. This was a new trend seen by the CAFC, with a noticeable increase in cryptocurrency investment scams.
  • Based on reports to the CAFC, the top five most reported scams and fraud in 2021 were extortion, phishing, merchandise scams, service scams and vendor fraud.
  • By reporting to the CAFC, you are assisting law enforcement by contributing to a national repository of information to assist investigations and support prevention and disruption efforts.

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