Fraud Prevention Month 2022

Many fraudsters use impersonation tactics to pose as a trusted source to steal money or personal information. This is why the Fraud Prevention Month will focus on impersonation scams. Learn more about some of the top scams and fraud of 2021 to protect yourself.

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Crypto investment scams

Fraudsters are posing as friends, family and others to offer fake investment opportunities to steal money. The investment opportunities offer higher than normal or true monetary returns which often result in investors losing most or all of their money.

Investment scams were the highest reported scams based on dollar loss in 2021. Most of the investment scam reports involve Canadians investing in cryptocurrency after seeing a deceptive advertisement. It often involves victims downloading a trading platform and transferring cryptocurrency into their trading account. In most cases, victims are not able to withdraw their funds.


Note: Fraudsters impersonate trusted people to make their investment opportunities seem credible and to get more money from the victims.

How to protect yourself

Learn more about investment scams.


In these scams, consumers and businesses can be contacted via phone, email and/or text message by fraudsters posing as:


How to protect yourself

Learn more about extortion.

Emergency/grandparent scams

Suspects contact seniors or family members claiming that their grandchild or family member was:

Suspects will claim that they are law enforcement officials, lawyers and even impersonate the grandchild/family member. They will proceed to advise the victim that a payment for supposed bail or fine is required immediately in order for the family member to avoid going to jail. If the victim agrees to pay the requested amount, suspects will arrange to pick up the funds in person or will ask the victim to send cash in the mail.

How to protect yourself

Learn more about emergency / grandparent scams.


Phishing is one of the easiest ways for fraudsters to steal log in credentials, personal information or even infiltrate corporate networks.

Fraudsters will use mass email campaigns to send messages that appear to be from recognized institutions, companies or government agencies. These emails may:

If the link or attachment is clicked, your computer will be infected with malware.

Financial institutions are often impersonated by fraudsters in an attempt to make their frauds sound more convincing. The CAFC encourages consumers to reach out to their financial institutions directly if they have concerns about their accounts.

How to protect yourself

Learn more about phishing.

Spear phishing

Spear phishing fraud is one of the most prevalent frauds targeting businesses and organizations. Fraudsters take their time to collect information on their intended targets, so they can send convincing emails from a seemingly trusted source. Fraudsters will infiltrate or spoof a business or individual email account. They create a rule to send copies of incoming emails to one of their own accounts. They comb through these emails to:

Fraudsters launch their attack when the owner of the email account can't be easily contacted by email or by phone. It may look like a top executive sending an email to their Accounts Payable department requesting an urgent payment to close a private deal. If the fraudsters haven't infiltrated the executive's email account, they may set up a domain similar to the company's and use the executive's name on the account. The contact information they need is often found on the company's website or through social media.

Variations of spear phishing attacks include:

How to protect yourself

Learn more about spear phishing.

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