KAWARTHA LAKES-Residents of the City of Kawartha Lakes continue to be duped by scammers.
According to City of Kawartha Lakes OPP in the last week alone a timeshare scam victim lost approximately $4,000, a victim of the grandparent/emergency scam lost $10,000 and a victim of the romance scam lost approximately $50,000 over the last year.
2021 saw over $379 million in total reported fraud losses in Canada according to the Canadian Anti-fraud Centre annual report. That is 130% more than observed in 2020 and the highest total reported annual loss in CAFC’s history.
Globally, Canadians rank near the top in terms of length of time spent online and are putting more personal information online than ever before. Officials say while this trend can be partially attributed to the ongoing COVID-19 Pandemic, the digital environment is expected to continue growing. Despite the benefits offered by the Internet of Things (IoT), growing Canadian participation in the digital environment will also create opportunities for fraudsters to target potential victims.
With all demographic groups being expected to use technology for many facets of their lives, young and vulnerable Canadians are being increasingly targeted by fraudsters according to the report. A second overarching trend observed by the CAFC in 2021 is that seniors (those aged 60 years and older), as well as younger Canadians are increasingly represented in fraud and identity theft reporting. While these groups are widely adopting the benefits of the digital world, they may not necessarily have as strong an understanding of the threat environment. The current trend underscores the need for further education and awareness surrounding cyber literacy.
“Please consult with someone you trust before making large financial decisions by phone, email or txt message. If you have no one you feel comfortable asking, call police, we would much rather you call to ask for advice rather than become a victim of fraud.” said the OPP