March: Fraud Prevention Month - Monitoring and detection help prevent fraud


Montréal - In March, the Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF) doubles its efforts to remind Quebeckers about how to prevent fraud. In addition, the AMF carries out extensive monitoring and detection activities to prevent fraud. Prevention is better than cure.

"Fraud prevention requires innovative monitoring mechanisms. This is a daily task for our cybersurveillance team, which strives to detect suspicious activities on the Web and thus reduce the risk of fraud and prevent losses for investors," explained Me Nathalie Drouin, Executive Director, Enforcement and Legal Affairs.

Since its formation, the cybersurveillance team has opened more than 60 investigation files and launched a number of initiatives to pinpoint the various tools used by fraudsters on the Web. One of these initiatives has focused on ads that present a risk of illegal practices in the Montréal area. More than 75 suspicious ads were identified, including at least eight cases involving individuals known to the AMF.

"Detection facilitates proactive intervention in a number of files and helps educate users, close questionable sites and even institute proceedings, where appropriate," stated Me Drouin. Individuals and entities found guilty by the Bureau de décision et de révision [the "Bureau"] following intervention by the AMF are monitored, as are those who make an undertaking with the AMF to cease all forms of solicitation.

In April 2010, the AMF launched an initial cybersurveillance pilot project. Today, the cybersurveillance team has a staff of six, including four investigators who can draw on a variety of tools, including computer and software resources for accessing close to 1,000 sites and search engines in real time. These simultaneous searches facilitate the detection of individuals and entities illegally providing financial products and services via the Internet.

The Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF) is the regulatory and oversight body for Québec's financial sector.

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