A scammer can go to the internet to claim your money or credit card information, claim to have your passport, or simply to ask for a specific item or service, and then get caught by law enforcement in Canada, according to a recent report.
A scammer is able to target Canadians because they are more likely to go online than their American counterparts.
According to a report from research firm Cargill, the number of people in Canada who engage in identity theft has increased by 100 per cent since 2000.
The study found that about three in 10 Canadians are victims of identity theft, with the rate of perpetrators in the country increasing from 2.8 per cent in 2001 to 7.4 per cent last year.
While the report doesn’t specify what kind of fraud a scam is, the report says it is possible to be convicted of fraud under the Proceeds of Crime Act if the perpetrator targets Canadians.
“The government has a responsibility to be vigilant about the threats posed by criminals and we are confident that the government will continue to be proactive and take effective measures to prevent identity theft,” said Michael L. Hart, the chair of Cargills research, in a statement.
“We will continue our efforts to ensure that our industry is operating in a manner that meets the security requirements of Canadians.”
The report, which was commissioned by Cargil and other Canadian companies, says that in the last two years, there have been 6,000 identity theft cases reported to the Canadian Security Intelligence Service.
While there are many ways that fraudsters can target Canadians, there are some basic steps that businesses can take to protect themselves.
“Make sure your credit card is in good working order,” said Cargils Chief Compliance Officer Michael Hart.
“Do not accept unsolicited offers for services.”
“The easiest way to ensure your card is secure is to keep it on file in a secure location,” he added.
“When you open a credit card, you are entering a unique code on a piece of paper, and it is the code that will be transmitted to your bank or other financial institution.”
If you do open a fraudulent credit card and are unsure how to do this, Hart suggests getting your credit cards PIN.
“You can also create a password-protected email account and send it to yourself,” Hart said.
“It can be a very simple process.”
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