Indigenous Communities must be more aware of online fraud

By Chevi Rabbit, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

(ANNews) – Dallas Arcand, the patriarch of the Arcand family performers, has a warning for Indigenous communities across Canada: be vigilant against online fraud. As a three-time world champion hoop dancer, singer, and performer, Arcand is no stranger to the spotlight. However, his recent experience with online fraud has prompted him to speak out and raise awareness among his fellow Indigenous performers and community members.

In a candid interview, Arcand shared his harrowing experience with online fraud and emphasized the importance of caution when navigating the digital landscape. “It’s easy to fall victim to deceitful schemes online,” he explained. “But we need to be vigilant and take steps to protect ourselves and our communities.”

Arcand’s experience with online fraud occurred during Fraud Prevention Month, a nationwide campaign aimed at raising awareness about online scams and fraud. “March 2024 marks the 20th anniversary of Fraud Prevention Month in Canada,” he stated. “It’s a crucial time to educate ourselves, families, and our communities about the dangers of online fraud.”

Reflecting on his own experience, Arcand stressed the importance of cautious communication in online transactions. “When something seems too good to be true, it probably is,” he warned. “And if a seller refuses to communicate over the phone or makes excuses, that’s a red flag.”

Arcand quickly contacted his credit card company when he noticed fraudulent behavior. Fortunately, all Visa and Mastercard cards have insurance, allowing him to recover his money. However, he admits that the ordeal left him more cautious. “There needs to be some kind of medium or platform that can provide a level of safety for sellers and buyers of Indigenous art,” Arcand stated. “This will help prevent others from falling victim to fraud.”

As Arcand hopes his story will help others know that online fraud can happen to anyone, Indigenous communities need to protect themselves against digital deception. “We need to be proactive in educating ourselves and our communities about the dangers of online fraud,” he said, emphasizing the need for working together and staying vigilant, so we can create a safer online environment for everyone.

In March 2024, Canada is observing the 20th anniversary of Fraud Prevention Month, highlighting the pressing need to address the escalating issue of online fraud within Indigenous communities. The month-long campaign focuses on various aspects of fraud, including business scams, investment fraud, and mass marketing schemes.

According to the RCMP website, “The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre can provide invaluable assistance. You can reach them online at, or by calling: 1-888-495-8501. Be sure to contact your bank and credit card company if you believe your personal or financial information has been compromised.”

Indigenous populations need to increase fraud prevention initiatives and collaborate with law enforcement agencies to combat fraudulent activities effectively. Moving forward, sustained efforts in education, awareness, and collaboration are essential to empower Indigenous communities in identifying and mitigating the risks associated with online fraud, thereby ensuring their financial security and well-being.

To address these challenges, Arcand calls for the development of third-party mediators to facilitate transactions between buyers and sellers. He envisions a platform specifically tailored to Indigenous artisans and private sales, providing a safe and secure environment for transactions to take place. “We need something like Etsy.”

Etsy Canada is an online marketplace where creators, artisans, and vintage enthusiasts connect to buy and sell handmade, custom, and vintage goods. It offers a diverse range of locally crafted items, personalized gifts, home decor, fashion, art, and more. Sellers can set up their own shops to showcase their products, while buyers can explore listings and support local businesses. Etsy Canada celebrates Canadian talent and creativity, offering curated collections and inspiring blog articles.

Arcand’s experience is all too common in Canada, and demonstrates the need for individuals to work together to create a safer online environment for all. With continued education, collaboration, and the development of supportive platforms, Indigenous communities can empower themselves to combat online fraud and safeguard their financial security and well-being. As Arcand aptly puts it, “Together, we can overcome the challenges posed by online fraud and ensure a safer digital space for generations to come.”

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