Mass-Market Fraud

By Karen Larsen

A closeup of a stack of credit cards with a sealed padlock laid on top of them

More than one million Canadians have reported being targeted for mass-market frauds. These criminal activities target multiple victims in the hopes that a small percentage of those contacted will respond. The most common form of contact is by telephone and the Internet.

The most common types of mass-market fraud in Canada are:

  • Cheque cashing/money transfer
  • Prize lottery or sweepstakes
  • Advance fee loans
  • Employment/work from home
  • Overpayment for sale of merchandise
  • Upfront fee for credit cards
  • Investment fraud
  • Advance fee vacations
  • Bogus health products or cures

On average, individual victims lose $557 and in total, Canadians lose approximately $450 million annually. Fraudsters are motivated by greed and will rush you to make quick decisions without thinking it through. If you have any questions or concerns, stop or slow the process and do some research. Get second opinions and contact your local police station. The golden rule of fraud is if it seems too good to be true, it probably is. More information is available on the Edmonton Police Service website – www.edmontonpolice.ca