The loot of fraudsters linked to financial scams across the country amounted to nearly $ 160 million in 2020, according to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Center (CAFC).
Yesterday, the CAFC unveiled its balance sheet for 2020. The organization says it has recorded nearly 101,500 fraud-related reports, including 67,300 reports by businesses or Canadian citizens. It can be a Canadian who has been the victim of a criminal, but also a foreigner who has suffered a scam from Canada.
For Canadians alone, financial losses related to various fraudulent schemes reached $ 104.2 million last year.
In 2019, they had been $ 103.9 million, notes Jeffrey Thomson, expert at the Anti-Fraud Center, adding that 56,189 reports had been made.
It was the dating scam that caused the most damage in 2020. The CAFC figures the amounts stolen from Canadians at $ 18.5 million. Of the 899 complaints made, 620 people lost money.
In 2e position of the most expensive scams, we find those related to investments, which made 428 victims. It is often solicitation for investments promising higher than normal returns. In 2020, $ 16.5 million was stolen in this way.
Finally, spear phishing fraud appears in 3e rank. Financial losses amounted to $ 14.4 million.
Not surprisingly, COVID-19 has also inspired fraudsters. The CAFC notes that it has received reports of fraud and scams related to vaccines, drug tests and in connection with requests for the Canadian Emergency Benefit (CEP).
Between March 6 and January 31, 11,500 reports of pandemic-related fraud were recorded and financial losses were $ 7 million.
As for identity theft, the CAFC says it has received 16,970 reports from victims in recent months.
Earlier this week, Le Journal wrote that the Autorité des marchés financiers had recorded 22 cyber incidents in 2020, three of which had led to data theft. On the side of the Quebec Access to Information Commission, 88 declarations were processed.
According to the CAFC, only 5% of fraud victims make a report.