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Insights Analytics & Intelligence

Connecting for Common Good to Fight Fraud

Symcor March 05, 2020
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March is Fraud Prevention Month in Canada, an annual public awareness campaign that seeks to educate and encourage consumers and businesses to Recognize, Reject and Report fraud. This nationwide campaign is organized by a Fraud Prevention Forum, chaired by Canada’s Competition Bureau and sixty other organizations representing the government, private sector, law enforcement, and consumer/volunteer groups. Symcor is a committed member of this Forum. 

Through a series of online discussions and toolkits released during Fraud Prevention Month, ­­the Forum seeks to help Canadians learn about different types of fraud, recognize the warning signs and protect themselves. Every citizen represents the first line of defence against financial fraud. With appropriate education, Canadians can defend themselves and their communities against fraudsters by recognizing, rejecting and reporting fraud schemes.

State of fraud in Canada 

In 2019, the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre (CAFC) reported over 46,000 fraud reports from Canadian consumers and businesses, totaling a loss of $96 million. Yet the actual loss is much greater, as only an estimated 5% of victims actually file a fraud report, according to CAFC. The psychological and emotional impact of being defrauded also goes undocumented.

Among common consumer and financial scams, synthetic identity fraud in particular is on the rise. Fraudsters steal one piece of legitimate personal data and combine it with fake information to create a synthetic consumer, under whose name they secure credit cards, loans, and make purchases. “Leveraging identities fraudulently for financial gain is a serious problem today. Fraudsters create synthetic identities to facilitate different kinds of scams,” explains Ann Stevens, Fraud Intelligence and Investigations Lead at Symcor.

Tackling fraud in the digital era

Financial crimes erode the trust people have in the institutions they interact with regularly, whether it is the government, financial institutions, or businesses. This weakening of consumer trust comes at a time when bad actors are adopting more sophisticated methods of fraud and executing them with greater collaboration and cooperation.

Speaking from her three decades of experience working in criminal intelligence across law enforcement and the financial industry, Stevens points out that the Pareto Principle, also known as the 80/20 rule, applies to the practice of fraud. “If we apply the Pareto Principle, then we could argue that 80% of fraud is committed by 20% of the fraudsters. They are usually well-organized crime groups. If we are able to understand how such groups operate and then protect ourselves from falling victims to them, it can have a big impact on reducing fraud,” she says.

Fraudsters typically do not operate in silos. To fight them effectively, neither should we. Tackling fraud in this digital era requires a modern trust paradigm – one that eliminates silos and resolves identities and transactions rapidly and at scale. COR.IQ tackles this challenge by working to unite the industry towards one solution.

How Symcor is connecting for common good with COR.IQ

COR.IQ is Symcor’s fraud fighting platform that harnesses the power of cross-industry fraud intelligence through an alliance of Canadian financial institutions. COR.IQ applies advanced analytics, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning to generate fraud insights, helping to create a shield against fraudsters across all member banks.

In this age of broken trust and sophisticated tactics to defraud consumers, “the industry needs to connect for common good to rebuild trust,” asserts Stevens.

“We require a top-down and bottom-up approach. We need to collaborate and educate, and this should include consumers too. When consumers are able to protect themselves, they reduce the risk to the financial industry and the institutions that hold their products. The financial industry together as a unit can make their environment stronger and resilient to fraud,” she adds.

As a single solution that addresses multiple types of fraud, COR.IQ helps the industry realize mutual efficiencies, gain a return on investment through loss reduction, and balance customer experience with fraud avoidance and prevention.

Throughout March, Symcor will focus on fraud prevention with a lens on the issues and trends shaping the future in this space, from payments modernization to synthetic identity fraud. To learn more, visit

More resources:

See list of top ten most reported frauds in Canada in 2019

Competition Bureau’s Little Black Book of Scams