Fraud Prevention Month


March is fraud prevention month in Canada and the goal is to raise awareness among citizens and consumers about the different types of fraud and how they can contribute to stop this crime. The Fraud Prevention Forum is a collective of firms from the private sector, consumer groups, volunteer groups, law enforcement agencies and government organizations. When the forum was launched in 2004 it initially only had 22 members but this year there are 125 participants. One of the 125 firms, groups and organizations included in this group is the Royal Canadian Mounted Police or the RCMP, the federal and national police in Canada. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police have a Commercial Crimes Section that investigates Major Fraud or fraud cases that have provincial, national or international significance. The following elements are present in Major fraud:

  • Great loss in value or money
  • Victims are heavily affected
  • A complex plot or scheme to commit the crime
  • There is a need for expert special investigation
  • Victims are in the municipal, provincial or federal level
  • The case is of interest to the general public and the nation as a whole

Several types of major fraud identified are Corporate Fraud, investments and securities fraud, mass marketing fraud and credit card fraud. Corporate fraud includes crimes committed by and against companies or corporations. Misuse of corporate funds by a company employee can be considered as a form of corporate fraud as is the publication of fictitious revenue data, the concealment of company assets and liabilities, or the deliberate understatement or overstatement of the company’s assets or revenue earnings. Investment fraud is often a highly complex scheme operated by a group of individuals who conceal themselves as legitimate companies and market fraudulent investment schemes with shady tactics over the phone, the internet or in person. Sometimes high returns are promised in exchange for putting up money to invest in the scheme but this usually almost never happens because the criminals are the ones who seek the high returns for themselves. Many criminals disguise themselves as wolves in sheep’s clothing, with elaborate props that may include a classy office space, employees such as receptionist clerks, investment consultants and even brochures made professionally for the alleged high income investment.

There are laws and rules implemented in Canada that protect against fraud in securities and investments trading. These rules are violated with schemes that aim to take advantage of investors. The RCMP investigates this type of fraud working with its partners such as many public and private regulatory agencies and provincial and territorial securities commission. The RCMP protests the investors and the general public by preventing the occurrence of unfair and fraudulent schemes.