During Fraud Prevention Month this March, the RCMP is helping become become educated so as to not be one of the many who are falling victim to this ever-growing crime. 

Last year, Canadians lost $567 million dollars, and Manitobans lost over $9 million dollars.

Terry Sundell's task is to help you get in the know. He explains Manitoba is very similar to other provinces in Canada in that it's estimated that only 5 to 10 per cent of fraud is actually reported to the Canadian Anti Fraud Centre. 

"Although the statistics are still very high, even for Manitoba in 2023, the value of loss neared $10 million for people in Manitoba," notes Sundell. "But that is really only the statistics that are gathered by Canadian Anti fraud centre. Knowing that only the five to 10 per cent of these frauds are being reported through that means, just highlights the fact that fraud as it equates to a dollar loss, is very high in Manitoba."

He explains if you've ever been the victim of a fraud, you should contact your local police service as well as the Canadian Anti Fraud Centre, whether it be through their online reporting system or giving them a call directly. Sundell notes the Centre has a great website online that provides a good bulk of information on the most recent scams. 

"That includes a lot of information on the recent scams that are going around, information on what to look for, and what to do if you're a victim," adds Sundell.

He outlines the importance of reporting as soon as possible, stressing that there is a timeline that police can work to refund your money. 

"In many of the cases, when it comes to a fraud that occurs online through the Internet, the main reason why getting your money back is tough, is due to where in the world money ended up and where in the world the fraudsters are actually located," continues Sundell. "In Canada, if you send an E-transfer or send some sort of a bank transfer to another bank in Canada, the banks do have some security measures in place to not just track money, but to also look for red flags in that sometimes, there can be a hold put on certain transfers while things are getting verified. So, the longer it takes to report a fraud, or the longer it takes to realize that you have been defrauded, the lower the chance there is going to be recovery your money."

Sundell adds, that just by understanding that the police, especially, know that these can be sensitive topics, and that you should you make that call to the police, that you will be given direction and support, is a positive thing.

"To at least report what has happened to you, is good because even if it might not mean getting your money back, it may help someone else from being a victim. The two things, for sure, are to report it to your local police detachment, and ensure you report it to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre. They are the repository to keep all the fraud statistics. They often assist police forces across the world in making linkages between the commonalities with the fraudsters, whether they use the same e-mail addresses, phone numbers, names, or cryptocurrency wallet, the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre is a centralized repository. So, they can make those linkages. And it's so it's good to report it to them."