Those annoying spam calls can have a real cost. In Edmonton alone, scammers squeezed $34.3 million from people in 2019. As part of their fraud prevention month, police are sharing the biggest Edmonton scams from last year so you know what to look out for. You can finally start saving for your vacation and not somebody else's.\nPeople were scammed out of five times more money last year than they were in 2018, according to Edmonton Police. Now, police are trying to curb the losses by educating the public on how to keep your money safe.\nWe all know how annoying it is getting calls from someone claiming to be from the CRA. But police say scammers are often very elaborate in their schemes, and that we should always keep vigilant.\n"The most important thing is that we always tell people to verify everything," said detective Linda Herczeg to Narcity, "if someone phoned you or gets a hold of you in relation to baking, and we encourage you to hang up."\nShe elaborated that we should then call our banks in order to confirm the call came from them.\nIn response to the increase in online scams last year, Herczeg said to: "find someone who can educate you or share with you how to be safe on the internet."\nShe said online scams went up possibly due to increased reporting, as well as a shift toward buying things online rather than in person.\nThe most popular scam by far in 2019 is bank fraud, stealing $9.7 million from 725 people.\nBut if we're talking numbers for cold, hard cash, family/friend scams won over $5.2 million from only 20 people — that's $260,000 per person on average.\nThere's also been a reported increase in scam callers in Canada, and the nation is trying to fight back.\nEdmonton Police launch Fraud Prevention Month in our city. Thank you to all those who try to educate the community. We are getting smarter but so are the fraudsters. Educate yourself. Ask questions. Report scams when they happen to you and help protect others. #FPM2020 pic.twitter.com/feF4lzVDy6— Julie Matthews (@JulieMHelps) March 2, 2020\nOnline romance scams are also costly — a press release revealed that one victim lost over $270,000 in a single scheme.\n"People are wanting to find someone to have in their life, whatever type of relationship that it is," said Herczeg.\nSometimes, when someone shows interest in us, people don't spend as much time questioning their motives, she continued. Herczeg recommends Googling their names to make sure they aren't associated with any previous scams.\nHere are the most common scams seen in 2019:\nE-Transfer Scam #Edmonton 👏🏼 Nice Try Creep 🤣 pic.twitter.com/eaKJjr9j7a— Vanessa 🇨🇦 Regina,SK (March 7-9) (@VanessaR1vera) January 27, 2020\nThe Most Common Scams In 2019\nBank Fraud\nPeople Affected: 725\nMoney Lost: $9.7 million\nOnline Merchandise/Ticket Fraud\nPeople Affected: 279\nMoney Lost: $723,500\nIdentity Theft\nPeople Affected: 160\nMoney Lost: $1 million\nEmployment Scam\nPeople Affected: 156\nMoney Lost: $525,600\nBusiness Fraud\nPeople Affected: 141\nMoney Lost: $3.8 million\nSeniors are being cautioned against providing personal information over the phone to anyone claiming to work for a hot water tank repair company, who needs to gain access to your water tank to ensure it's functioning properly. This is a scam. Be safe Edmonton #yeg #police— Edmonton Police (@edmontonpolice) January 16, 2019\nPolice say that if you've been the victim of fraud, you can either report directly to your financial institution, contact the police, contact the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre online or at 1-888-495-8501.