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TORONTO, Ontario – Credit unions, private sector firms, consumer and volunteer groups have banded together in Canada to highlight Fraud Prevention Month. Credit Union Central is working with the Fraud Prevention Forum, which is chaired by the Competition Bureau, an independent law-enforcement agency. Working on the belief that an aware person is less subject to fraud, the FPF has a campaign called “Recognize it, Report it and Stop it.” Last year it distributed over 40 million bill inserts, 480,000 brochures and 2,800 posters. In 2006, it plans to increase distribution as well as to use more media including trade journals. It is encouraging its partners, including Credit Union Central, to work with their employees through the traditional communication channels. Credit Union Centerl and FPF have made available, to any credit union that wants it, a Member Scam Protection e-booklet. The booklet points out that no one is immune from fraud and victims are often well educated. It identifies some of the common frauds such as announcing a potential victim as a big prize winner, asking for identity information, and promising loans or credit cards once a fee is paid. Stressed is how often fraudsters demand immediate answers. It cautions people to do nothing until they have checked the validity of the caller and/or the offer. Canadian credit unions can also request other creative material from the FPF although they are responsible for their own printing. However, fraud prevention materials are available all year round as part of Credit Union Central’s ongoing work to stop fraud before there are victims.

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