Another problem revealed at the conference was that the various entities most interested in preventing fraud, governments (provincial and federal), police forces, businesses, financial institutions, etc. are not communicating efficiently, if at all, and this silo mentality is allowing fraudsters to move from jurisdiction to jurisdiction beyond the reach of enforcement.
Fraudsters often use a business model of ripping off victims for only small amounts, keeping under the radar of authority, as victims are less likely to report to police who in turn aren’t likely to pursue cases involving only a few hundred dollars, while the hundreds add up to tens of thousands that’s used to support other crimes.
CARP has been referring our members who have had complaints or been victims of fraud to Phonebusters and Seniorbusters, a.k.a. the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre. I was personally discouraged to learn that this body is extremely underfunded, operating with a very small staff and, is not an investigative body, but rather a reporting and analytical group that tracks frauds and scams, shares data and reports with law enforcement and other interested agencies.
In summary, it does seem that Canada currently has no effective national strategy on fraud, but this gathering in Ottawa at the Preventing Fraud in a Digital Age Conference seems to have focused the issue and may just be the beginning of better communications between all attendees and the starting point for that much needed national plan.
Manager, Community Development
Keywords: fraud, seniors, elder, abuse