Financial crime is commonly referred to as "white collar crimes", which are non-violent crimes committed in commercial situations by individuals, groups, or corporations for financial gain.
We typically find that the total amounts of money lost increase substantially over the course of a fraud investigation. We have files that have shown initial losses reported in the 10’s of thousands of dollars but end up resulting in millions of dollars lost. This typically occurs when additional victims are found through the course of the investigation. In some cases, we begin with one initial victim that expands to as many as 180 victims in a single investigation.
Main types of Financial Crime
- Bankruptcy fraud – Individuals who conceal assets, mislead creditors, falsely claim bankruptcy, file multiple bankruptcy claims, or launch petition mills.
Cheque fraud – Overpayment scam, fraudulent cheques, stolen cheques with forged signatures.
- Computer fraud or Cybercrimes – Involves the use of a computer to engage in an illegal activity.
- Counterfeiting – The act of manufacturing fake currency or altering genuine currency.
- Credit card fraud – The unauthorized use of a credit card to make purchases.
- Embezzlement – One who has been entrusted with funds steals them for his own benefit.
- Identity fraud – Theft of one’s personal information so as to use it for opening credit card accounts, applying for loans, purchasing cellular phones, or committing serious crimes.
- Insider trading – Someone who has confidential information uses it to reap profits or avoid losses on the stock market.
- Insurance fraud – Filing of artificial or exaggerated claims to an insurance company.
- Mail fraud – Use of the Canadian Postal Service or another registered mail service to commit a crime.
- Medical fraud – Fraudulent medical claims.
- Mortgage fraud – Someone deliberately misrepresents information to obtain mortgage financing that would not have been granted if the truth had been known
- Securities fraud or investment fraud – Intentional deception of investors that financially benefits the perpetrator. Numerous tactics of manipulation and misrepresentation can constitute securities fraud.
- Social engineering fraud (such as phishing and telecom fraud) – Designed to get your personal information for fraudulent purposes.
- Trade secret fraud – Theft of a confidential plan, formula, idea or collection of information that could benefit a business.
Fraudsters rely on their ability to convince the victims that the loss of money was out of their hands and control. Fraudsters use creative stories and sometimes intimidation to prevent or discourage victims; firstly from seeing themselves as victims, and secondly, to prevent the victims from reporting it to the police. Additionally, fraudsters rely on creating a fraud that is seen as civil; therefore, the police won’t investigate it.
Elements of criminal financial fraud in order for the Edmonton Police Service to investigate
The individual or fraudster must have used:
- Deceit - concealment or distortion of the truth for the purpose of misleading; shared verbally or in written documents
- Falsehood - a false statement or a lie;
- Fraudulent means - being dishonest or cheating a person.
To defraud or take money from you.
Reporting a fraud to the police
The police need evidence that your complaint has the elements of a criminal financial fraud, as listed above. Please provide the following items when you go to the police to report an incident that you believe to be a fraud:
- Witness Statement
Written in the order the events occurred so we can follow the events through time;
Include as much detail as you can so the witness statement will explain everything.
- Money Investments – money provided to an agent for investment purposes where the agent spent the money on personal purchases instead of using the money as agreed upon by you and the agent. Evidence for money investments include:
- Documents showing the agreed upon investment and where the money was to be allocated or who it was to be given to
- Additional Documents showing that the original documents you received were fraudulent, fake or altered in any way
- Bank documents showing that your money was transferred to the agent and deposited into the agents account
- Any financial documents you received from the agent and any types of banking information or cheques you received from the agent.