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March is Fraud Prevention Month and with reported cases of fraud rising, seniors are encouraged to increase their awareness of current scams and learn how they can protect themselves.

Every year, people of all ages fall victim to fraud. According to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre (CAFC), 62,365 Canadians reported being targeted by scammers in 2023 and lost over $554 million to fraud and cybercrime.

The CAFC reports that in the past year, the top three most reported types of fraud were identity fraud, service fraud, and phishing –all designed to get you to pay or give away sensitive information like your social insurance number, passwords or banking details. The top three frauds reported that had the highest level of financial impact were investment scams, spear phishing, and romance scams.

Learn About Different Types of Scams

The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre offers an online resource called ‘Tricks of the trade: What’s in a fraudster’s toolbox? What’s in yours?’ that aims to raise awareness of top scams and how to avoid them. Scams that most frequently target seniors include the grandparent scam, romance scam, investment scam and service scams.

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Seniors Safety and Security

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police have created the Seniors Guidebook to Safety and Security to answer common questions about seniors’ safety issues, including elder abuse, fraud and scams.

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Information Security Awareness and Cyber Crime

An essential part of using technology is learning how to protect your private information, devices and passwords online. The B.C. government has published on online resource on Information Security Awareness.

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Get Cyber Safe

Get Cyber Safe is a national public awareness campaign created to inform Canadians about cyber security and the simple steps they can take to protect themselves online. Find videos and practical guides on common cyber scams and how to avoid them

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Understanding Elder Financial Abuse

Financial abuse is the most common form of elder abuse in Canada. Learn how to recognize, reject, and report elder financial abuse. This video features Pamela McDonald, Director of Communications and Education at the British Columbia Securities Commission (BCSC), and BC Seniors Advocate Isobel Mackenzie.

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Anyone who suspects they have been the victim of cybercrime or fraud should report it to their local police and to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre’s online reporting system or by phone at 1-888-495-8501.

People who are aware of scams, but not victims themselves, are also encouraged to report suspicious activity to the CAFC.