FTC, Canadian Law Enforcement Agencies Cooperate on Public Outreach to Combat Cross-Border Fraud

As it celebrates Fraud Prevention Month, the Federal Trade Commission is joining with consumer protection and law enforcement agencies from the United States and Canada to engage in public outreach aimed at combatting fraud.

The agencies make up a working group of law enforcement agencies, known as the Quebec Strategic Partnership, who partner to identify and combat cross-border fraud, such as imposter, investment, and prize winnings scams. The partnership’s collaboration includes sharing intelligence, complaints, and other relevant material, and providing investigative assistance.

Along with the FTC, the partnership also includes the Canada Competition Bureau, the partnership’s current chair, as well as the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, U.S. Secret Service, Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre, Canada Post, Canada Revenue Agency, and several local police departments in Quebec.

In addition to cooperating on enforcement, the partnership’s participants are coordinating on initiatives and consumer education aimed at preventing consumers from being scammed. This includes boosting outreach to local community groups such as those that serve immigrants and small businesses on how to spot and protect against fraud and using a variety of media platforms to promote ways to avoid investment, tax and package delivery scams.  

“The Federal Trade Commission values its cross-border partnerships with Canada and welcomes this month’s efforts to help the public avoid scams, protect against identity theft, and report fraud,” said Maria Coppola, Director of the FTC’s Office of International Affairs. “We highlight our guidance for all communities including our new help in multiple languages and resources for new immigrants and refugees.”

“Fraud continues to reach unprecedented levels in Canada. With more than a billion dollars in losses reported to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre (CAFC) over the past two years, it is safe to say that the social and financial harms caused by these cyber-enabled frauds pose a significant threat to Canadians and the economic integrity of Canada,” said Jeff Thomson, Acting Officer in Charge of the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre. “As technology advances and new forms of fraud emerge, it is crucial for Canadians to train themselves and exercise fraud safety in order to adopt best practices for protecting themselves against fraud. Throughout the month of March, the CAFC will be promoting awareness on the evolution of fraud and providing support to Canadians to develop good habits so they can Recognize, Reject and Report Fraud.”

“The U.S. Postal Inspection Service is proud to be a member of the Quebec Strategic Partnership and of all the collaborative work the partnership has done and will accomplish in the future,” said Chief Postal Inspector, Gary Barksdale, United States Postal Inspection Service.

In 2023, Canadian consumers submitted the second highest number of reports to the FTC from outside the United States about fraud. These include complaints about online shopping, investment scams and business imposters including tech support scams.

Last year, the FTC announced a new initiative allowing consumers to submit reports via phone about fraud or other consumer problems in multiple languages. The agency also provides consumer advice in about a dozen different languages including French, which along with English are the two official languages of Canada.

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