Frequently Asked Questions about Fraud


How do I report Identity Theft?

If you are a victim of Identity Theft, call Police at 613-236-1222, ext. 7300 or visit any of the Ottawa Police station s to file a report.

In addition to contacting police, we recommend that you also contact Equifax (1-800-465-7166) as well as Trans Union Canada (1-800-663-9980) to advise them that you are a victim of Identity Theft. Request the following from these Credit Bureaus:

A credit history on yourself - you can obtain this online for a fee or you can have it mailed to you for free. Once you receive your credit history, check it out and make sure that everything belongs to you. Report any other problems to police.

Tell them that you would like your credit "flagged". This will alert them to exercise more caution if anyone makes an application for credit in your name. This step will prevent further damage to your credit.

We also recommend that you contact the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at or 1-888-495-8501 to report your circumstance. This agency tracks this form of fraud as well as many others. In Ontario, they are administered by the Ontario Provincial Police. Across Canada, they are administered by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

Where can I make a general inquiry about an Ottawa Business?

Contact the Better Business Bureau.

If I have a problem with my credit card or debit card, what should I do?

Credit Cards and Debit Cards are the property of the issuing card company. Contact your card provider FIRST . Provide them with all of your information. They will then provide you with the appropriate next steps. The card provider is responsible to assemble the required documentation that is needed for criminal investigation purposes. Ask your bank or card provider to forward your case to their Corporate Security department for investigation. Request that they secure any video that may exist and hold it for police.

My wallet was lost or stolen - what do I do?

If you have lost your wallet, make sure that you cancel and replace all of your important cards. Visit the Service Canada website for a checklist that will help you through this process.

If you know your wallet was stolen (and there is sufficient evidence i.e. a witness or surveillance video etc) then please file a report by contacting our Call Centre at 613-236-1222, ext. 7300.

How do I know if this email about a crime is a hoax or urban legend?

We often receive requests to verify "chain letter" type emails which are almost always urban legends with no record of the situation ever actually occurring. Often times, these emails are edited before being forwarded, to include names of nearby cities or establishments in order to make them more believable. Whether any of the stories could have occurred elsewhere in the world is speculative, but is not beyond the realm of possibility. Usually, these types of stories can be verified by a simple online search or by visiting urban legend sites such as or . We strongly encourage those who have received these emails to verify the information instead of simply forwarding it on. If you are still unsure, contact us at, by twitter @OttawaPolice or on Facebook.

What should I do if I receive Counterfeit Currency ?

For Businesses:

If you suspect a bill from a customer may be counterfeit, remain calm and try to avoid a confrontation. Safety first: if you are concerned for your immediate safety, call 911.

Make note of the description of the person passing the bill(s) and if possible, try to obtain a vehicle description and licence plate. Contact our non-emergency police phone number at 613-230-6211 to file a report.

For Customers:

If you believe you've received a counterfeit bill from a store or bank, immediately notify the staff. If they are satisfied that they gave it to you, they will likely replace it on the spot.

How do I know if money is Counterfeit?

Never rely on just one method of detection. Some security features can be defeated by various methods however it is extremely unlikely that you will ever come across a note that will defeat several features.

There are numerous secu rity features built directly into money to help safeguard against counterfeiting. The Bank of Canada provides excellent Online Counterfeit Training. The RCMP also provides useful information on Counterfeit Detection.

If you are interested in educating yourself to recognize Counterfeit US Dollars, you can also check out the United States Secret Service.

Social Assistance Fraud

If you know or suspect that someone is committing fraud in relation to any of the Ontario Works Assistance Programs, contact: The Provincial Hot Line for complaints at 1-800-394-7867.

What should I do if I uncover a fraud situation in my company?

File a report with the police by contacting our Call Centre at 613-236-1222 ext7300 or by visiting any of our police stations.

Corporate fraud investigations are quite extensive and often very complex. It is important that you gather as much documentation as possible to be included in your police report. It is important to know where your documentation came from and what value it has for investigative purposes. A statement or summary must accompany your documentation to explain what has happened and why you believe a fraud has occurred. Your documentation must be in some form of order and not simply gathered together in a random fashion.

You may be required to provide a forensic audit at your own cost. The Ottawa Police does not provide this service. Your file will be reviewed and discussed with you first, before any such request for an audit is made.

What do I do if I know someone committing fraud?

If you know or suspect that someone is committing fraud, contact us at 613-236-1222, ext. 5433 or you can report it anonymously online to Crime stoppers or by calling 613-233-TIPS (8477) or 1-800-222-8477.

Where can I find more information about fraud?

ABC's of Fraud Program

10 Ways to Protect Your Credit Cards

Replacing Lost or Stolen Identification

Interac - Fraud Prevention

VISA - Avoid Fraud

MasterCard - Travel Tips

American Express (AMEX) - Fraud Prevention

Internet Fraud Complaint Center (USA)

Trans Union Canada (1-800-663-9980)

Equifax (1-800-465-7166)


RECOL (Reporting Economic Crime Online)

Government of Canada - I.D.

Ontario Provincial Police  

Internet 101: Safe Surfing for Kids!


419 Coalition (Nigerian Letter Scams)

Pay Pal

Virus Hoax Warnings

Urban Legends

National White Collar Crime Center - Canada

Staying Safe using Kijiji

About Scams on Craigslist

I still don't have the answer to my question

For all other enquiries about fraud, please contact the Organized Fraud Section at; or by phone at 613-236-1222, ext. 5433 (Monday to Friday - 8am to 4pm).

If you or someone you know is a victim of crime - from a stolen purse to an assault - report it to the police immediately. If you have any questions or concerns about safety or want to get actively involved in crime prevention, contact your local Community Police Centre.