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HomeNewsGrande Prairie RCMP kicks off education campaign to mark Fraud Prevention Month

Grande Prairie RCMP kicks off education campaign to mark Fraud Prevention Month

To help mark Fraud Prevention Month, the Grande Prairie RCMP will be releasing weekly tips to help residents in the region protect themselves from various scams.

Sergeant Shawn Graham says there is sometimes complacency towards potential scams, as many believe it won’t happen to them. However, data from the region paints a picture that shows the sophisticated scammers are making a mark.

“Since January we’ve had 96 fraud complaints, and the impact of fraud on individuals businesses, and families can be absolutely devastating,” he says.

“The best way to help prevent these scams is through awareness and education, as sharing this information with others may help someone from becoming a victim.”

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Graham says with prominent scams currently including the typical CRA and newly discovered Service Canada fraud, criminals committing these frauds are always looking for ways that allow people to fall prey to it.

“Especially on a local level, if we are seeing the complaints come in, we want to get that information out to the public saying they ‘they are using this tactic right now,” he says.

“A lot of the tactics are similar, whether it’s through social media [or] a phone call, it’s the pressure tactic to get people to do things under that pressure that their information has been compromised, or someone is coming after them.”

Graham adds there are several ways to protect yourself, and some vital tips to remember if you think you’re being swindled:

No legitimate government agency or business will demand payment in gift cards or prepaid credit cards. These methods are used by criminals in order to hide their activities from the police.

If you receive a call from someone claiming you owe money, get as much information from them as possible and tell them you will call them back. Find the government agency’s phone number through a trusted source like a phone book or official website and call the department back.

Anyone who thinks they may have been a victim of fraud can report it to the Government of Canada’s Anti Fraud Centre.

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