March is Fraud Prevention Month
This guest blog post is provided by the Competition Bureau, an independent law enforcement agency that ensures Canadian businesses and consumers prosper in a competitive and innovative marketplace. Headed by the Commissioner of Competition, the Bureau is responsible for the administration and enforcement of the Competition Act, the Consumer Packaging and Labelling Act (except as it relates to food), the Textile Labelling Act and the Precious Metals Marking Act.
Fraud is big business – affecting companies both small and large. It can occur online, over the phone and in person and can take many different forms, such as internal fraud, identity theft, and business directory and supply scams. This could have impacts on your revenue, your reputation and the longevity of your business. This is why it is important to take proactive steps to ensure that you can prevent losses to your bottom-line and lessen the impact of possible fraud.
The Competition Bureau is encouraging businesses to have an anti-fraud plan that includes the following guidelines:
Recognize it: Fraudsters are sophisticated and creative, so questioning the legitimacy of every inquiry – no matter how official it may appear to be – is a good policy to have in place. Be vigilant and be on the lookout. Scammers are finding new and innovative ways every day to rip people off, so be watchful for any deals that sound too good to be true, including online and on social media.
Reject it: It's important to have trained and attentive staff who are cautious and know how to reject suspected fraudulent activity. If you receive a suspicious email, delete it. If you question the legitimacy of a telephone call from an unfamiliar source, hang up. If you get something in the mail asking you to forward personal information or credit card details, throw it out. Trust your instincts - they could save your business or your employer from becoming the victims of fraud.
Report it: The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre (CAFC) estimates that less than five per cent of the total number of fraud victims reports their experiences to law enforcement agencies. By reporting a scam, you can provide law enforcement agencies with the information they need to stop fraudsters and help prevent others from becoming victims.
Here are a few ways to report fraud: contact the CAFC at antifraudcentre.ca or by phone at 1-888-495-8501; or report it to the Competition Bureau at competitionbureau.gc.ca/fraud or by phone at 1-800-348-5358.