Metal handcuffs placed over the word fraud

Reported fraud losses surged to a record $530 million in 2022, according to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre (CAFC).

The agency reported that losses from fraud and cybercrime rose by 40% last year from the previous record of $380 million in 2021.

The rise in reported losses wasn’t the result of an increase in the frequency of reporting, the CAFC said, adding that it continues to estimate that only 5% to 10% of fraud is reported.

Instead, fraud has become easier and more lucrative in recent years, it suggested.

“In the past decade, technology has completely transformed the criminal landscape, making fraud easier to commit, more widespread, and more sophisticated than ever before,” it said in a release.

In 2022, investment scams, particularly crypto-related scams, were the top source of victim losses, it said.

“As we see the amount of money lost to fraud continue to increase, our duty to protect each other grows more and more important. Fraudsters are using increasingly sophisticated methods to victimize Canadians while also relying on the basic tricks too,” said Chris Lynam, the RCMP’s director general of the CAFC, in a release.

Deceptive marketing was the biggest source of fraud reports in 2022, accounting for over half of the 70,878 total reports it received during the year.