March is Fraud Prevention Month
To mark Fraud Prevention Month, Toronto Police Financial Crimes Unit (FCU) is raising awareness and providing ways in which citizens can educate themselves and their loved ones.
Fraud Prevention Month is an annual event designed to promote the recognition, prevention and reporting of fraud.
Inspector Joe Matys, Unit Commander of Financial Crimes, said criminals will prey on people’s good nature and use it to their advantage.
“If you are contacted by anyone claiming to be from a bank, or other business requesting your personal information, hang up and contact that business through the phone number you usually contact them through,” he said. “Never give your personal details to anyone over the phone or the internet that you did not initiate contact with first.”
“Criminals will say they are from the police, the courts or a relative claiming that there is an emergency and require you to give up personal information. This is then followed up with a request for cash. The police or courts will never solicit money from anyone and will never send anyone to your home to pick up cash.”
Matys offered several useful tips.
- Never say the names of your loved ones.
- Never give out your personal details or banking information when solicited.
- Ask questions only you or your loved ones would know.
- Hang up, tell someone you trust, and confirm all information through trusted sources.
The Community Partnerships and Engagement Unit (CPEU) has collaborated with FCU and Divisions citywide to spread the word.
On March 1, 31 Division Neighbourhood Community Officers started a crime prevention and community engagement program for seniors in the Division.
“Word to the Wise” is for residents at 35 Shoreham Drive and 7 and 8 Arleta Avenue.
Every Crime Prevention Officer across the city has either already delivered a presentation this month, or will be in the coming weeks to the most ‘generational politeness’ groups of our community.
Detective David Coffey of FCU has appeared on Zoomer radio as a panel guest reaching hundreds of listeners and sharing prevention tips about the different types of fraud that are out there.
Later on, he and Constable David Huang of CPEU (translating in Chinese) will deliver a Grandparent Scam presentation to residents of a Toronto Intergenerational Partnerships Community.
The Competition Bureau of Canada (CBC) is the driving force behind Fraud Prevention Month.
This year’s theme is, "Tricks of the trade: What’s in a fraudster’s toolbox?"
“Fraudsters are getting increasingly sophisticated in their tricks and tools used to entrap victims, especially when it comes to our more senior communities,” the CBC said.
A large social media presence sharing different fraud “tricks of the trade” has also been ongoing using #FPM2023 and #crimepreventionTPS.
You can find more fraud prevention tips at www.tps.ca/fraud or
The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre, Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre (antifraudcentre-centreantifraude.ca)
If you believe you have been a victim of fraud, contact the Toronto Police at 416-808-2222.