Alberta RCMP provides fraud prevention tips to counter COVID-19 related frauds

submitted by Alberta RCMP

The pandemic has led to new COVID-19 related fraud in Alberta. From March 2020 to February 2021, there were over 10,700 reports of fraud in Alberta RCMP jurisdictions.

Impersonation- and identity-related incidents accounted for 19.4 per cent of all reported frauds for that same period. The top ten frauds in Alberta RCMP jurisdiction are as follows:

  1. Fraud (money/property/security) less than or equal to $5000
  2. Identity fraud
  3. Fraud (money/property/security) greater than $5000
  4. Identity theft
  5. Theft, forgery, misuse of credit card
  6. Use/traffic/possess a forged document
  7. Illegal possession or trafficking in government documents
  8. Obtain food/lodging by fraud
  9. Fraud, obtaining transportation
  10. Unauthorized use of computer

Here are some tips to protect yourself by learning how to recognize and prevent fraud:

  • Does this transaction make sense? If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is
  • Ignore communication from unknown contacts
  • Don’t leave personal identification cards in your vehicle
  • Purchase items from reputable organizations
  • Research organizations via the Better Business Bureau
  • Regularly monitor credit card statements for unknown or suspicious charges
  • Never send money on a dating site

This month, follow #kNOwfraud for fraud prevention tips on our social media accounts on Twitter (@RCMPAlberta), Facebook (@RCMPinAlberta).

If you have been the victim of a fraud, report it to your local police service and to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre online at: www.antifraudcenter.ca or by calling: 1-888-495-8501. You should also contact your bank and credit card company if you believe your personal or financial information has been compromised.

RCMP encourage the public to report any criminal or suspicious activity to police. Reports tell us where to look, who to look for, and where to patrol in the future. If you see a crime in progress, dial 911. If you wish to remain anonymous, contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS), online at www.P3Tips.com or by using the “P3 Tips” app available through the Apple App or Google Play Store.

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