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About Deborah McCoy
Deborah McCoy is an investigative journalist and has over 17 years of investigation experience in both the private and public business sectors. Since joining CFN, Ms. McCoy has become a true advocate for victims of fraud and increasing the public’s awareness in fraud prevention. Deborah can be reached at Deborah@canadianfraudnews.com
About Canadian Fraud News
Canadian Fraud News Inc. is an online speciality news aggregator and generator with a focus on Canadian fraud cases. We keep track of all fraud related stories that are published by other media and we report on ongoing cases filed in the Courts.
Canadian Fraud News needs you too. We want to improve awareness of fraud and your experience can help us with that. If you have been a victim of fraud and want to tell your story, fill out the form at the ‘Report a fraud’-page.
The website uses the following categories:
The broad term ‘Financial Fraud’ concerns all fraud schemes involving financial transactions for purpose of personal gain. In a way all fraud cases can be traced back to this motivation: money.
The term ‘Securities Fraud” concerns all forms of deceptive practices in the stock or commodities markets that induce investors to make purchase or sale decisions on the basis of false information, frequently resulting in losses. For our purposes, we report cases involving persons registered with securities regulators, and cases that are dealt with by securities regulators, under the heading of “Securities Fraud.” We report cases dealing with persons who are not registered who deal in securities, cases that are filed in the court system, under the heading of “Investment Fraud.”
The majority of cases involving ‘Investment Fraud’ are perpetrated by persons not registered to solicit and trade in securities. Often investors are promised substantially higher returns than they would normally receive from traditional forms of investment. Most often, investors are assured that their principal is safe and secure, and that it will be transferred back to them at the end of a short investment term. Inevitably, the operators of the scheme will cease making “payments” to the investors, and will quickly abscond with the majority of the remaining principal. The variations of investment frauds are endless. Most investment frauds are initially prosecuted in the courts.
Corporate Fraud’ can be defined as a loss to a corporation arising from the deceitful conduct, or the conduct by omission, of the officers and directors of the corporation, or arising from the conduct of third party individuals and entities. It is separate and apart from ‘Employee Fraud’ because of the nature of the fraud, and due to the way the law treats such incidents. The EY Global Fraud Survey found that one-in-five business leaders believe bribery or corruption happen widely in industries across Canada.
variations in the types of ‘Employee Fraud’ are numerous. In every case the fraud is committed against the company or organization by a person who is working for it. Examples include outright theft, to payment, receipt, or procurement schemes, and exploiting intellectual property and information. In this age of technology, the risk of employee theft and fraud has increased substantially. Employee fraud is a serious problem that affects about 50% of business every year.
We define “Consumer Fraud” as scams that involve unlawful practices designed to facilitate the payment of money grossly disproportionate to the value of the goods or services actually rendered on unsuspecting consumers. ‘Consumer Fraud’, like other forms of fraud, evolves with technology and has endless variations. We include credit fraud in the context of consumer frauds.
The term “immigration fraud”, for our purposes, is the exploitation of foreign citizens attempting to obtain permanent residency in Canada. This fraud is often perpetrated either by immigration consultants operating within Canada or foreign immigration ‘professionals’. The immigrant is often promised that by utilizing one of the aforementioned services that they can not only expedite the immigration process, but also guarantee their citizenship, usually at an extremely inflated cost. In some cases document fraud (misrepresentation) is encouraged by the fraudster in the form of the applicant entering in to a false marriage in order to obtain citizenship.
Mortgage Fraud is often perpetrated on financial institution, but also commonly occurs with private mortgages that are registered on title. It commonly involves misrepresentations during the mortgage application process. It sometimes involves mortgages placed on a victim’s home through identify theft schemes. In whatever variation it takes, the scammer provides misleading or false information on the application in order to qualify for a mortgage loan that he or she would not be eligible for.
We focus on two types of insurance fraud: the first being exaggerated claims for damages, otherwise referred to as opportunity frauds, and the second being schemes designed to be fraudulent from the beginning. For example, with staged collision fraud scammers intentionally cause a car accident and then makes claims against insurers and their service providers. Schemes abound with respect to property, disability and life claims as well. KPMG estimated in 2012 that auto insurance fraud in Ontario costs insurers up to $1.6 billion a year, and accounts as much as 18% of total claims.
The term for frauds perpetrated in the relationship context is often referred to as ‘Relationship Fraud’ or ‘Romance Frauds’. These include, for example, escort frauds, workplace extortions, and internet relationship fraud. Romance scams often involve feigned romantic intentions towards a victim, gaining their affection, and then using that goodwill and trust to commit fraud. Scammers in these fraud cases are masters of manipulation, tricking their victims into giving away their love and money. Romance frauds are reported to be the most lucrative scam in Canada. In the past four years, Canadians have reported losses of almost 50 million to authorities. This is likely only a small percentage of the actual loss incurred through romance schemes, as often the victims are too embarrassed or manipulated to make a complaint.
Spiritualism has been defined as a belief that spirits of the dead or other universes have the ability to communicate with the living of our universe. ‘Psychic Fraud’ has the opportunity to occur where clients of spiritualists and psychics have vulnerabilities, and when the spiritualists’ fiduciary-type duties succumb to their own greed. A spiritualist or psychic claims to communicate on behalf of a spirit, and the communication is designed to obtain the transfer of money and property. Similar to romance frauds, it is believed that only a small percentage of the actual loss incurred through psychic schemes are reported, as often the victims are too embarrassed or manipulated to make a complaint.
If you have any suggestions, comments or questions for Canadian Fraud News, if you would like a fraud story published, or if you would like to report a fraud anonymously, please contact us.