According to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre (CAFC), in the last year, Canadians have lost more than $163 million to various scams, with 33,000 reports filed to the agency.
At least 15 different types of scams resulted in a collective loss of more than $1 million for the victims.
Between Jan. 1 and Sept. 30, the scam with the highest dollar loss was investment scams, which had 1,145 victims in that time, whose losses added up to more than $61.5 million. That makes for an average per person loss of almost $54,000.
The second most costly scam was “romance,” which scammed 671 Canadians out of around $32 million in total, or around $48,000 per person on average. In these scenarios, a scammer will convince their target to enter into a romantic relationship with them with the end goal of winning their trust and using that trust to ask for money or entice the target into a fake business venture or to invest in something.
Spear phishing and extortion make up the third and fourth most expensive scams for victims respectively, with spear phishing since January costing 572 Canadians $21 million, and extortion costing 1,630 Canadians $11 million.
When looking at the scams that rack up the highest number of victims, instead of the highest amount of money lost, the picture shifts.
The type of scam with the highest number of victims was scams involving “personal info,” with 3,060 victims. The CACF didn’t assign this a dollar value because…