Competition Bureau Announces Launch of Fifth Annual Fraud Prevention Month

OTTAWA, March 3, 2008 (www.AllPayNews.com) — "Statistics showing one million adult Canadians have fallen victim to mass marketing fraud highlight the need for more consumer education and vigilance," Sheridan Scott, Commissioner of Competition, said at the launch of Fraud Prevention Month.

March is Fraud Prevention Month in Canada and around the world. As chair of the Fraud Prevention Forum, the Competition Bureau works with its partners to raise awareness among consumers and businesses about the dangers of fraud by educating them on how to recognize it, report it and stop it.

"We want consumers and businesses to understand the importance of recognizing the signs of mass marketing fraud," added Commissioner Scott. "Whether it be fraud by telephone, mail or Internet, we are all at risk. We can protect Canadians by working with our partners to raise awareness throughout the month, educating each other on the dangers of fraud and showing the scams artists that their business is not welcome."

Over 100 Fraud Prevention Forum partners from coast to coast will participate in various activities throughout the month. In Canada, Fraud Prevention Month will highlight issues including fraud targeting youth, health fraud and fraud targeting small business. Internationally, 30 countries from around the world are hosting their own fraud prevention activities.

An Environics survey, conducted for the Competition Bureau, assessed 12 types of mass marketing fraud (MMF) targeting Canadians. Some startling numbers revealed that over the past year:

58% of Canadians reported that they had been targeted;
those targeted reported receiving 16 fraudulent contacts;
one million adult Canadians have fallen victim;
87% believe MMF is a serious problem in Canada; and
the total amount Canadians have lost is at least $450 million.
Canadians are encouraged to visit the Competition Bureau's Fraud Prevention Forum Page regularly throughout the month. There are a number of new products this year, including Fraud Prevention Month ticker tape news, a Fraud Prevention Month Newsletter, a Forum members' Calendar of Activities, as well as interactive Web tools.

The Fraud Prevention Forum is a concerned group of private sector firms, consumer and volunteer groups, government agencies and law enforcement organizations, committed to fighting fraud aimed at consumers and businesses. Through its partners, the Forum works to prevent Canadians from becoming victims of fraud by educating them on how to recognize it, report it and stop it.

The Competition Bureau is an independent law enforcement agency. We contribute to the prosperity of Canadians by protecting and promoting competitive markets and enabling informed consumer choice.

FRAUD: Recognize It. Report It. Stop It.

For media enquiries, please contact:

Maureen McGrath
Senior Advisor
Communications & Stakeholder Relations
819-953-8982

For general enquiries, please contact:

Information Centre
Competition Bureau
819-997-4282
1-800-348-5358