CAFC 2021 Annual Report

Executive summary

The 2021 Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre (CAFC) Annual Report (the Report) provides a statistical review of fraud reporting to the CAFC, observed between January 1 and December 31, 2021. From these observations, the Report highlights significant trends in fraud and identity crimes. Additionally, the Report provides an overview of the CAFC's ongoing efforts and response to the dynamic fraud threat environment.

Highlighted are several important fraud and identity crimes reporting trends. Fraud, identity crimes and associated cybercrime are rapidly growing issues faced by an increasing proportion of Canadians. In 2020, the CAFC observed approximately $165 million in reported victim losses. In 2021, this number drastically increased to $379 millionEndnote 1.

Globally, Canadians rank near the top in terms of length of time spent online and are putting more personal information online than ever before. While this trend can be partially attributed to the ongoing COVID-19 Pandemic, the digital environment is expected to continue growing. Canada's digital economy is well positioned, and Canadians will continue to shop, communicate, and work online. 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. 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 and hygiene.

Visit the Government of Canada Publications to access the entire Annual Report.

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