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Fraud crimes on the rise in Canada


March 14, 2021
By Blue Line Staff

Statistics Canada found that police-reported fraud crimes, measured by the Crime Severity Index (CSI), are on the rise.

The last comprehensive data on fraud-related crimes showed the rate of police-reported fraud increased for the eighth consecutive year in 2019, up 10 per cent from 2018. Researchers noted some police services said the increases were connected to greater availability of online reporting platforms.

Canadian Anti-fraud Centre (CAFC) estimated there was a total of 19,285 victims of fraud in 2019 and over $98 million lost due to fraud. It found that just under 166,500 incidents of fraud were reported by police in 2019.

Statistics Canada noted the high volume of fraud offenses made it a primary driver behind the increase in the national CSI. It also reported that the high volume of fraud offences made it the primary driver behind the increase in the national CSI.

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Statistics Canada is now conducting a special data collection exercise with select police services with a focus on March to December 2020 to address data gaps that occurred during the pandemic.

The Canada Revenue Agency found 40,612 people had their information compromised last year and estimates Canadians lost a total of $106 million to fraud.

The agency also said 4,833 Canadians reported scam activity in January 2021 alone, which resulted in the loss of more than $10 million.

A recent survey from Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada (CPA Canada) found 73 per cent of individuals reported being targeted by fraudsters at some time in their life—one third having fallen victim—but also showed that almost two thirds of respondents said they are doing more to protect themselves than they were five years ago.


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