Terry Sundell is a corporal with the RCMP whose job is to make people aware of fraud, and save them from the loss of thousands of dollars. During this Fraud Awareness Month, he points out something that's making fraudsters more successful.

"What we are seeing is people are being coached on how to convert their money into some form of cryptocurrency," says Sundell. "Once money has been converted into cryptocurrency, the regulations around how to send cryptocurrency to other parts of the world really don't exist. You can take cryptocurrency that's in your own cryptocurrency wallet and you could send it to a person that's located directly in a country halfway across the world that Canada may or may not have any diplomatic relations with."

He says this means that police may or may not even be able to do any kind of work on the suspect even when they're located, depending on what country that person is in. Sundell explains exchanges with cryptocurrency do have customer rules, for the most part. But even though police in Canada may be able to identify and put a name to an illegitimate cryptocurrency wallet, that by no means says that they can get any kind of reimbursement for someone in Canada.

"It's often moved very quickly because these scams are quite elaborate," continues Sundell. "They'll move the money around to a number of different wallets. Finding out who is responsible for the crime is something that there is a high enough likelihood that the police might be able to do, but being able to get money back is another story, and a whole other challenge for us."

RCMP online reporting in Manitoba https://ocre-sielc.rcmp-grc.gc.ca/manitoba

Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre (CAFC) https://antifraudcentre-centreantifraude.ca (for information on what to do if you’re a victim, how to best protect yourself, general awareness of recent scams, and for online reporting of scams)

Canadian Centre for Cyber Security https://www.cyber.gc.ca (this is a great resource for individuals, businesses, and government institutions on how to best protect your information, implement best practices, and complete surveys that can help better assess your risk and vulnerabilities online)

cybertip!ca https://www.cybertip.ca (Canada’s national tipline for reporting the online sexual exploitation of children) (Sextortion and Online Sexual Violence can affect people of all ages. This website has valuable information and resources to help educate people and assist those who have been victimized)