As commerce moves increasingly online and fraud does the same, this year’s Fraud Prevention Month campaign is following the same trend, and trying to educate consumers about how to better guard against online frauds.
This year’s Fraud Prevention Month is the 17th annual campaign. Competition Bureau, Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre (CAFC) are working together to increase the reach of the fight against fraud – and online fraud in particular. Competition Bureau will focus on online shopping scams and deceptive practices, such as non-delivery, subscription traps and fake online reviews. RCMP and CAFC efforts will warn Canadians about frequent digital frauds and scams and how to report them.
The effort is supported by about 60 other participating organizations, from police services, government agencies, volunteer groups to consumer groups, including the Consumers Council of Canada.
Past events often featured gatherings and in-person presentations. As gatherings are unsafe this year, and in keeping with the theme, the hashtag #FPM2021 is being used across social media platforms to collect and distribute a lot of the month’s efforts. Participants have posted numerous chats, bulletin releases and links to other online resources.
All flavours of fraud – telephone, online or just fraud in general – topped the list of consumer issues for 2021, according to the recently published results of the Consumer Council of Canada’s Public Interest Network (PIN) annual questionnaire. The PIN is a volunteer network of consumers interested in protection issues. The results, available in the Council’s online store, showed that fraud was seen as the most important issue facing consumer protection in 2021, and the one threat participants most commonly faced in 2020.