Don’t Be a Victim to CyberCrime!

March is Fraud Protection Month

Online Fraud
Image: depositphotos.com

Be Aware and Use Common Sense

THUNDER BAY – Our computers, tablets, and smart devices have become an integral part of our business and personal lives. Being in almost constant contact is more usual than the rare in today’s world.

That has brought out a growing number of computer frauds and scams. Despite all the reports and warnings, there are still many people who fall victim to some of the scams out there.

Often to the benefit of the fraudsters and scammers, many people who fall victim are also embarrassed to report the crime. There are some of the scams, like the Grandparent Scam, where the scam artists use the fear of the other grandparent finding out to convince the victim not to speak out.

There are, however, and thankfully more and more people coming forward.

If you do suspect you have been a victim of a fraud, contact your local police detachment. For more information on how you can protect yourself from fraudulent activities, please visit the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre (CAFC) website www.antifraudcentre.ca or by telephone at 1-888-495-8501.

Victim Defrauded of $140,000

The Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) Norfolk County Detachment are sharing about a computer virus scam after police investigated an incident at a Norfolk County address.

On Wednesday, March 6, 2019, at approximately 9:10 am, police were contacted by a concerned resident reporting they had been the victim of a computer virus scam.

Through the course of the investigation, it has been determined that on Tuesday, January 31, 2017, the homeowner was operating their personal computer when they received a pop-up notification indicating that there were issues relating to their computer virus protection and functionality. The owner clicked on the pop-up and followed all of the prompts and subsequently signed a form indicating that repairs were completed which was electronically returned.

Between January of 2017 and March of 2019, several other emails were exchanged and further remote access to the owner’s computer was allowed. It wasn’t until the victim reviewed his statements that he realized that his line of credit had been accessed with approximately $140,000 being removed by the time the fraud was discovered.

Police are urging everyone to ignore the online pop-ups if you should receive one. It’s a SCAM.

Computer users are reminded, that unless you initiate the call, do not allow anyone access to your computer.

Never give out personal, banking or credit card information to anyone unless you are sure of whom you are dealing with.

Change your passwords frequently as well.

Tips to protect yourself:

The old saying “if something seems too good to be true, it probably is” still applies today.

Here are some tips on how to protect yourself from becoming a victim of fraud:

  1. Before sending any funds or product, contact the person by telephone to confirm
  2. Do some online research of the person, company and/or product
  3. Beware of unusual or irregular email requests
  4. Never open links or attachments in unsolicited emails
  5.  Review credit card statements often for unauthorized charges
  6. Do not provide any personal information over the phone or email such as credit  card numbers, social insurance numbers and birth date

LEARN MORE

If you suspect you may be the victim of fraud or have been tricked into giving personal or financial information, contact your local OPP detachment at 1-888-310-1122 or the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at 1-888-495-8501.

The Government of Canada Competition Bureau: aims to increase your awareness of the many types of fraud that target Canadians and offer some easy steps you can take to protect yourself and avoid falling victim to fraud. You can view “The Little Black Book of Scams” at: www.competitionbureau.gc.ca.