This article was written in partnership with the CPA of Canada.
Financial fraud can be a major stress factor in our lives. To combat this stressor, it is important to be aware of what fraud can look like and how it can be prevented or recovered from. That’s why Alberta Blue Cross® is partnering with the CPA to provide advice from experts you can trust.
What is fraud?
There are two primary types of financial fraud, which are commonly referred to as “fraud” and “theft”. Theft is the collection of someone else’s personal information for criminal purposes and fraud is the use of that personal information for criminal gain.
How to identify fraud attempts
Protecting yourself against fraud starts with being aware of the strategies that criminals and fraudsters use to try and gain your personal information. These criminals will be trying to get information like your
- full name,
- date of birth,
- Social Insurance Number (SIN),
- full address,
- mother’s maiden name,
- username and password for websites and online services, or
- driver’s license number.
Their fraud attempts may take many forms, such as
- supposed creditors mentioning unknown loans,
- a suspicious notice of a denied application,
- falsified bills for goods and services,
- unusual requests for your financial statements, or
- financial providers contacting you unexpectedly by email or telephone.
If you receive any messages like these, you should try to verify the identity of the sender and do not reply unless you are completely sure that they are who they claim to be.
What should you do?
If you’re concerned that you have been the victim of fraud, create a log of all the fraudulent activity that you have noticed, contact your creditors or financial providers and contact the police. You should also notify the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.
For more information and tools to help you protect yourself against fraud, you can find information from the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada or the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Scams and Fraud site.
Did you know that benefits fraud costs the Canadian health care industry up to $3.6 billion every year. At Alberta Blue Cross®, we’re dedicated to cutting that number down and keeping plans sustainable. Get all your questions about benefits fraud answered on our benefits fraud website. Dive into everything you need to know about benefits fraud including how it happens, what you can watch for and how Alberta Blue Cross® can protect your plan.