Financial Crime Unit
The Vancouver Police Department’s Financial Crime Unit is responsible for investigating fraud and financial crimes that happen in the city of Vancouver. If the fraud has happened outside of Vancouver, you may be reffered to the police in that jurisdiction. If there is not enough evidence for a criminal charge, you may be referred to civil court.
Reporting a Financial Crime
If your situation is an emergency, call 9-1-1.
If your credit card, bank card or cheques have been used without your permission, and you have lost less than $5,000, you can make a report through the VPD’s Online Crime Reporting page. If you have lost over $5,000, please report through our non-emergency number at (604) 717-3321.
All other financial crimes occurring in Vancouver should be reported through the non-emergency number at (604) 717-3321.
For general inquiries, the VPD Financial Crime Unit can be contacted at (604) 717-2569.
Other Agencies That Investigate Financial Crimes
There are a number of other agencies that deal with particular professions/situations:
How to Recognize Types of Fraud
- Gift card or pre-paid credit card scams - cards are offered for less than face value. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
- Requests for money or personal information - requests by phone or email for money or your personal information, like your name, date of birth, social insurance number, bank account or credit card number. Reputable banks and businesses do not contact clients by phone or email for this kind of information.
- Advance payment schemes - requests asking you to pay shipping or administration fees or taxes in advance to secure a loan or job, or to receive lottery winnings, is fraudulent.
- Cheque/refund fraud - someone sends you a cheque and asks you to deposit it into your account and then send them back a small portion, saying you can keep the balance, usually in relation to getting a job, being a secret shopper or to test how a bank handles your transaction. The cheque will later be found to be fraudulent and the bank will debit your account.
- Residential rental scams - arrangements made through email or by phone with payment made by wire transfer. Some scammers gain access to the property so they can show it to you, by either renting it themselves or for a weekend through companies like AirBNB. Confirm the owner's name with the property manager or through land title records, coupled with identification of the person you are dealing with.
- Canada Revenue scam - phone calls made stating there are outstanding amounts of money owning, often with threats of arrest or deportation. The Canada Revenue Agency and Immigration Canada do not telephone people to advise them of money owing.
- Online event ticket sales scam - buying tickets online from strangers and finding out they are fake when you show up at the event. Unless you deal with a reputable ticket broker or re-seller that offers you a guarantee, you can't determine if the tickets are genuine or not.
- Blessing scam - people are aproached by strangers, telling them of bad luck or ill health affecting them or their loved ones unless the stranger blesses their money and jewellery. The jewellery and/or money is placed in a bag and they are told not to open it for a few weeks, at which point they discover it is full of worthless items. Elderly Chinese women are often targeted.
- Wire transfer fraud - these can include romance scams, where you meet someone online and they ask for money to help their family, get out of a foreign country, pay dutes/taxes on goods they are attempting to import/export, or to travel to you location.
This can also include spear phishing scams, where a business receives an email that appears to come from someone within the business or from a client requesting funds be wired to a specific account or location. The email address is very similar, often only one letter different than the legitimate email address of the colleague or client. This is generally means a breach of the business' network and requires IT security to be tightened.
Help us help you prevent fraud!
See Preventing Fraud for tips and real examples.
See Crime Prevention & Safety for Businesses for tips and information from the VPD from the VPD on preventing financial crimes within your business.
Reporting fraud and lost/stolen identification
Do you want to make others aware of a scam in our community?
Report it to the Better Business Bureau's Scam Tracker.
Check it out and see what scams are happening in your area.