TORONTO – March 1, 2022
Every year, thousands of unsuspecting Canadians are victims of fraud.
One type of frequently reported fraud that is especially concerning to Retail Council of Canada (RCC) and its retail members is gift card fraud. According to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre, in 2021, $3.8 million in losses were reported due to gift card losses. Clever scammers, posing as government agencies, law enforcement, or lottery companies trick people by instructing them to purchase gift cards from reputable retailers as a form of payment for anything from taxes to fines.
To help raise awareness of this concerning practice, Retail Council of Canada has partnered with the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) and the Canadian Anti-Fraud Center (CAFC) on an in-store and social media campaign developed to draw attention to the most commonly used gift card fraud tactics. Retailers of all sizes across Canada will be encouraged to share this message as part of Fraud Prevention Month that begins on March 1, 2022.
“Supporting our retailers to help their customers from falling victim to gift card fraud by providing print-ready posters, stickers, and pre-written social media messages is something RCC is eager to do as part of Fraud Prevention Month. With the collaboration of the OPP and the CAFC to help broadcast and reinforce this message, our combined efforts will go even further in protecting innocent people from being victimized” said Rui Rodrigues, Retail Council of Canada Executive Advisor, Loss Prevention & Risk Management.
“Working together to help prevent fraud and protect our communities is the most impactful way we can bring about positive change. We look forward to continuing to engage in initiatives that help keep all citizens safe from fraud-related criminal activity” said Avery Bassett, Sergeant, OPP Community Safety Services.
“We encourage the public to report their frauds to police of jurisdiction and to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre (CAFC). We are delighted that through this collaborative effort, anyone who might fall victim to these unscrupulous acts will have a better understanding of what to do if they become a victim so we can be even more effective in disrupting and preventing frauds.” said John Armit, A/Detective Sergeant, Anti-Rackets Branch, Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre (CAFC).
Retailers and anyone who is interested in helping to share the message to help prevent gift card fraud are encouraged to go to Retail Council of Canada’s website to download posters, stickers and social media messaging.
About the Ontario Provincial Police
The Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) is the provincial police service of Ontario, Canada with more than 5,500 uniformed officers, 2,500 civilian employees and 600 Auxiliary officers. We provide essential services that ensure the safety and security of the people of the Province of Ontario. Under its provincial mandate, the OPP patrols provincial highways and waterways, protects provincial government buildings and officials, patrols unincorporated areas, and provides support to other agencies. We provide frontline policing services to 323 Ontario municipalities and patrol over 127,000 kilometres of provincial roadways. We have many specialized units including drug enforcement, aviation, explosive disposal, search and rescue, canine and emergency response. Ontario Provincial Police.
About the Canadian Anti-fraud Centre
The Canadian Anti-fraud Centre (CAFC) is Canada’s central repository for information about fraud. We help citizens and businesses: report fraud, learn about different types of fraud, recognize the warning signs of fraud and protect themselves from fraud. We also provide information to law enforcement and governments in Canada and around the world. Our goals include: disrupting crime, strengthening the partnership between the private and public sectors and maintaining Canada’s economy. The CAFC is jointly managed by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the Competition Bureau Canada, and the Ontario Provincial Police.
About Retail Council of Canada
Retail is Canada’s largest private-sector employer with over 2 million Canadians working in our industry. The sector annually generates over $78 billion in wages and employee benefits. Core retail sales (excluding vehicles and gasoline) were over $400B in 2020. Retail Council of Canada (RCC) members represent more than two-thirds of core retail sales in the country. RCC is a not-for-profit industry-funded association that represents small, medium, and large retail businesses in every community across the country. As the Voice of Retail™ in Canada, we proudly represent more than 45,000 storefronts in all retail formats, including department, grocery, specialty, discount, independent retailers, and online merchants. www.retailcouncil.org
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