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OTTAWA – March 2, 2012 — Fraudsters have discovered new ways to steal money and information thanks to the popularity of social networking sites, unsecured public Internet access points and online activities like shopping, buying and selling, dating and gaming. Online fraud may be the latest way to scam people, but it is not the only approach that is used.
“The best way to avoid becoming a victim of fraud is to protect your personal and financial information at all times. Whether you’re at home, in a public place, on the phone or online, keep in mind that someone could steal personal information if it is not properly protected,” says Ursula Menke, Commissioner of the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC). “Fraud can be committed by anyone—someone close to you, someone in your community, or a distant stranger,” she added.
Fraud: recognize it, report it, stop it.
FCAC has produced a number of tip sheets and online information dealing with fraud that can help you identify it and protect yourself from it. You can also find the steps to take if you have become a victim of fraud.
If you become a victim:
Building consumer confidence
More information about fraud is available on FCAC’s website. There are tip sheets on how to protect yourself from different types of fraud, including identity fraud, debit card fraud, credit card fraud, email and phone fraud and real estate fraud. The Online Fraud page includes tips on how to prevent identity theft and fraud when using public wireless Internet access and social networking sites. If you are looking to rent or buy a home, you might be interested to learn more about spotting housing frauds and scams. Job seekers should watch out for employment fraud.
With educational materials and interactive tools, the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC) provides objective information about financial products and services to help Canadians increase their financial knowledge and confidence in managing their personal finances. FCAC informs consumers about their rights and responsibilities when dealing with banks and federally regulated trust, loan and insurance companies. FCAC also makes sure that federally regulated financial institutions, payment card network operators and external complaints bodies comply with legislation and industry commitments intended to protect consumers.
You can reach us through the FCAC Consumer Services Centre by calling toll-free 1-866-461-3222 (TTY: 613-947-7771 or 1-866-914-6097) or by visiting our website: fcac.gc.ca.
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