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How to report fraud and scams in Canada

Reporting fraud is critical

The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre estimates that less than 5% of the total number of fraud victims report their experiences to law enforcement agencies in Canada. By reporting a scam, you provide law enforcement with the information they need to stop fraudsters and help prevent others from becoming victims. The information you provide is important!

Take the following steps if you suspect that you may be or have been a target of fraud.

Step 1: Gather all information about the suspected fraud

All information related to a scam might be useful as evidence. Here's how you can help:

Note: Keep all documents in a safe location in case you are asked to provide them. This information may form an important part of any fraud investigation and could be used as evidence during prosecution.

Step 2: Report the incident to local law enforcement

Reporting fraud or suspected fraud to your local law enforcement agency ensures the police in your jurisdiction are aware that a scammer may be targeting local businesses. It’s especially important to always call the police if you have lost money in a fraud.

Keep a listing of all calls you make to the police and any file number they might provide for your fraud report for future reference.

Step 3: Report the incident to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre or the Competition Bureau

Contact the Fraud Reporting System (Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre) or call toll-free at 1-888-495-8501.

You can also file a report of a misleading or deceptive marketing practice with the Competition Bureau using the online complaint form.

Step 4: Report the incident to the financial institution that transferred the money

If you have already sent money, notify the financial institution you sent the money to. This might be a money service business such as Western Union or MoneyGram, a bank or a credit union, a credit card company, or an Internet payment service provider. Tell them you are reporting fraudulent activity associated with their account.

Step 5: Notify the website where the fraud took place (if applicable)

If the fraud took place online, such as through Facebook, eBay, a classified ad website such as Kijiji, or a dating website, be sure to report the incident directly to the website. Details on how to do this can be found under the "report abuse" or "report an ad" links on the respective sites.

Step 6: Place flags on your accounts and check your credit report

In addition to reporting suspected fraud or identity theft to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre, you should also contact both of Canada’s national credit bureaus—Equifax Canada and TransUnion Canada—to order a free credit report immediately and ask that a fraud alert be put on your file.

Place a fraud alert on your file :

Order your credit report (information provided by the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada):

Further reading

Contact information for specific types of fraud

While the Competition Bureau does not investigate many of the following scams, we work with many enforcement bodies to help address them.

Contact the organizations listed below to report a scam or request and investigation.

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