“Smell the scam” (« Flairez l’arnaque ») is the theme of the 18th edition of Fraud Prevention Month this March. The Sûreté du Québec (SQ) is collaborating with the Bank of Canada and several other partners including the Fraud Prevention Forum co-chaired by the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and the federal Competition Bureau.
Québec ranked first in Canada in 2021 in the number of cases of identity fraud. It was the most common type of fraud last year, according to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre. All types of fraud combined caused more than $30 million in financial losses in Québec in 2021.
Since fraudulent schemes are constantly evolving, the SQ urges the public to be on the lookout more than ever. During the month of March, an awareness campaign will take place on social media on the different types of fraud.
The SQ warns citizens to be skeptical of offers that are too attractive and to validate information, and question the lure of something that looks like too easy of a way to gain money or other things in life. Fraudsters generally rely on ignorance, the vulnerability of victims, a sense of urgency, authority, or speed to achieve their goals.
The Sûreté du Québec and its partners invite the public to report any fraudulent act to police. Fraud is a criminal act and can be committed over the Internet, telephone, by text message, by e-mail or in person. It must be reported as soon as possible to the police and the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at 1 888 4958501.