While the holiday season is in full swing, unfortunately so is the fraud, scam and theft season. Criminals take advantage of the “season of giving” by attempting to attract generous victims to support their criminal habits.

The criminals behind the frauds and scams are using multiple tactics to contact potential victims including going door to door, mailing letters, placing phone calls and sending e-mails/text messages.

E-mail and text message scams include messages from people claiming to be from the CRA advising of outstanding taxes, creditors calling on behalf of utilities and financial institutions asking you to reset passwords. Be mindful when receiving these unsolicited messages. Always check with a reliable source before providing any personal information or completing transactions requesting money or gift card payments.

Police are reminding residents to be vigilant when it comes to door-to-door campaigns and online purchases. Use common sense and remember that if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Take the time to research a product, service or business  to avoid becoming a victim of these crimes.

December ranks highest for internal theft/fraud.

While the holiday season is a joyous time for many, it can also be a desperate time for some. With a surplus of cash, credit card information and gifts available around the office, some individuals, especially those not properly vetted via pre-employment screening, are tempted to take advantage of their company’s prosperity.

With the financial pressures that often come with the holidays, employees are more likely to be caught ‘with their hand in the cookie jar’, leaving businesses attempting to recover their losses while dealing with a serious employment (and possibly criminal) issue.

Remain vigilant while holiday shopping.

Vehicle thefts peak this time of year  and police are reminding citizens to keep valuables out of sight and lock vehicle doors at all times. Thieves not only target vehicles in private driveways but also in shopping malls, recreation centres and school parking lots.

Please be aware of your surroundings and take the time to practice a few precautions to ensure a safe and secure holiday season.

If your organization has been targeted, or you have been personally victimized by holiday theft/fraud, contact us to launch an investigation, recover your assets, and mitigate further risk.