On March 31st Teranet hosted it’s second Market Insight Forum dedicated to Fraud Prevention Month. This forum featured a panel of experts that delivered key insights about money laundering, credit card and auto finance fraud. Our esteemed panelists included Cameron Field, Senior Manager, AML Intelligence Liaison and Special Initiatives, AML Financial Intelligence Unit of BMO Financial Group, John Armit, Team Leader, A/Detective, Anti-Rackets Branch of the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre (CAFC), Hemant Sharma, Detective Constable of Peel Police and Karol Buczkowski, Detective Constable of Peel Police.
Teranet’s Senior Vice President of Financial Solutions, Tim Rye, kicked off the forum by asking the panelists what the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic has been on financial crime and fraudulent activity. Cameron, John, Hemant and Karol all agreed that the pandemic has had a huge impact on fraud. According to Cameron Field “Covid-19 almost reimagined fraud as we know it because fraudsters have been able to capitalize on a society that is more remote.” Hemant Sharma was able to confirm that during the pandemic “bank fraud has gone up 800%” due to almost all Canadians being forced to start banking online if they previously didn’t. John Armit shared that “2021 was a historic year for fraud in Canada. According to a Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre report, the losses associated with fraud in 2021 were $379 million, which was a dramatic increase from the $161 million in 2020.”
How can the industry work to mitigate fraud?
We also asked the panelists how they think financial institutions, law enforcement and other industry organizations can work together to better mitigate fraud in the future. Here are some key highlights:
- Currently, only 5% of estimated victims will report fraud to their local law enforcement agency. Any instance of fraud should be reported to law enforcement or the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.
- Fraudsters are very agile and are constantly changing their strategies. Industry huddles and meetings help all parties stay abreast of these changes and learn indicators for fraudulent activity.
- According to Hemant, “successful policing relies heavily on the sharing of information” – financial institutions and law enforcement need to work closely together and find a way to streamline the process.
- Knowledge is power and training/awareness is key for mitigating fraud. The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre has lots of resources to help train employees about fraud flags to look for.
Additionally, our panelists spoke about money laundering trends, and specific cases they have worked on in relation to fraud and shared fraud mitigation tips. If you’d like to catch up on the full session, you can click here to watch a recording of the forum.