During the month of March, Alberta RCMP is sharing tips for residents in the name of fraud prevention.
According to a press release from Alberta RCMP, March is the Alberta Community Crime Prevention Association’s (ACCPA) fraud prevention month.
“Each year, the ACCPA hosts events for Albertans to learn more about the ways in which fraudulent activity impacts their communities,” stated a press release from Alberta RCMP. “However, due to the ongoing health pandemic, this year’s initiative will take place online.”
The release stated the ACCPA and other supporting organizations will be highlighting topics such as cyber crime, identity theft, phone scams and more over various social media channels. Albertans can follow the hashtag #FPM2021 to find additional fraud prevention information and resources.
According to Alberta RCMP, last year, its detachments investigated a total of 10,504 reports of fraud, with 915 cases in March 2020.
“Fraud prevention education is key to keeping you and your loved one’s finances and personal information safe,” the press release stated.
The RCMP stated fraud attempts often appear as legitimate banking or credit card services, customer service and even government agency services.
“Posing as seemingly trustworthy sources, scams con victims into providing their personal and, in most cases, financial information,” the release stated. “Learning how to detect potential fraud is your best defence against falling victim to the crime.”
According to the release, there are five simple tips residents can use to spot a scam. Watching out for calls from unfamiliar area codes, requests made online or over the phone for immediate payments and requests for personal financial information via text or email are a few of the important tips being shared with Albertans.
In addition, the RCMP is urging residents to be wary of pre-recorded phone messages from banks or government agencies and to be cautious when handling cheques from unknown parties. The RCMP also stated that if you are unfamiliar with how cryptocurrencies work, they should be avoided.
“If you are unsure of whether or not you are being targeted by a scam, check with family or friends, or visit the Government of Canada’s website to learn about common scam-types and how to protect yourself against them.”
Those who have been the victim of a fraud should report it to their local law enforcement and to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre online at antifraudcenter.ca. Another way to report a fraud is to call 1-888-495-8501.
“Please contact your bank and credit card company if you believe your personal or financial information has been compromised,” the RCMP stated.