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VIDEO: The scam industry in Canada is worth billions

From grandparent scams to romance ripoffs to bogus job offers, fraud has evolved into a full-blown industry. An expert joins our 'Inside the Village' podcast to explain why phishing is flourishing

Fraud is big business in Canada — and it's only getting bigger.

According to figures collected by the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre, which tracks scams and identity theft across the country, victims lost approximately $165 million in 2020. Three years later, that figure more than tripled to $569 million.

But here's the staggering part: that huge number represents only the small percentage of people who actually admit they've been scammed.

"We estimate that only five to 10 per cent of victims actually report to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre," says spokesman Jeff Horncastle. "That [$569 million] can be multiplied by 10 or 20, in reality."

From grandparent scams to romance frauds, phishing has become a daily part of life for any Canadian with a cellphone or email address. A guest the latest episode of Village Media's Inside the Village podcast, Horncastle explained why this crime is skyrocketing, how fraudsters are using generative AI to their advantage, and what you can do to protect yourself from the seemingly endless onslaught of scammers.

You can watch the full interview HERE.

Hosted by Scott Sexsmith and Michael Friscolanti, the Editor-in-Chief of Village Media, Inside the Village is a news and current affairs podcast that provides a weekly window into some of the best local journalism from across our chain of Ontario newsrooms. Produced by Derek Turner, the program also explores bigger-picture issues that impact people across the province.

Every episode is can be found HERE. If you prefer the audio version, it is available wherever you find your favourite podcasts.

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