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Canadians have lost $43 million to cybercrime in 2019: OPP

Phishing, service and romance scams are the still the top ways fraudsters are extorting money from their victims. File / Global News

With Canadians having lost $43 million to cybercrime so far this year, Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) are urging residents to be on the lookout and report these crimes to police.

OPP said that total, which comes from the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre, is set to rise even higher before the year is up.

Phishing, service and romance scams are the still the top ways fraudsters are extorting money from their victims.

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OPP say victims are not likely to report when they are scammed because of the emotional impact and personal embarrassment.

Police cite romance scams as the most underreported, but also say those scams account for more than half of all money lost in cybercrimes.

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Last year 776 Canadians reported losing a combined $23 million in romance scams.

Police estimate the actual number of victims is much higher, with probably 95 per cent of these crimes going unreported.

OPP advise anyone who falls victim to a fraud or a scam to contact police, stop communicating with the scammer and notify your financial institution.

They also advise people to keep all records and correspondence with the scammer; change all account passwords, including for social media; and update your computer security software.