March is Fraud Prevention Month in Oakville

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March is Fraud Prevention Month in Oakville
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Chantal Corner

Chantal Corner

Sergeant Chantal Corner is the Media Relations Officer for the Halton Regional Police Department. She grew up in Oakville and graduated from Loyola. She still resides in Oakville.

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The Halton Regional Police Service would like to remind citizens that March 2016 is Fraud Prevention Month in Canada. This is the 12th anniversary of the annual education and awareness campaign that encourages Canadians to recognize, reject and report fraud.

Fraud Prevention Month is a collective effort that brings together 125 law enforcement agencies, public and private sector organizations to combat fraud. The Competition Bureau of Canada is a primary public resource for Canadians, providing crucial guidelines on how citizens can protect themselves against fraudulent activity.

“In Halton region we do experience victimization of certain types of scams and frauds, particularly to our senior population,” noted Detective Sergeant Troy Izlakar of the Regional Fraud Unit. “In a community with an aging population and a higher than average disposable income, it makes this area very attractive to fraudsters,” said Izlakar. The Halton Police are encouraging the adult children of senior parents or relatives to take the time and know why, where and who their elderly parents are sending money to. “These fraudsters are very convincing and will confuse a senior into sending them a small fortune before their children can intervene.” In the majority of cases the funds involved are sent to a third world country via wire transfer, making it almost impossible to trace or recover. “I cannot stress enough, never send funds by means of a wire transfer to anyone you’re not familiar with, anyone wanting you to send them money via wire transfer is a sure bet fraudster,” said Izlakar.

During the month of March, the Halton Regional Police will be engaged with external organizations and diligent on social media with the goal of increasing social awareness to a variety of frauds and scams that are currently widespread. “During my time in this unit I have been witness to some pretty devastating financial fraud, predominantly to seniors. Day to day people don’t think about fraud until it happens to them or a family member and that really needs to change, hopefully this month we may grab the attention of some people,” added Izlakar.

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