June 17, 2021
Phishing is a cybersecurity threat that continues to be one of the leading forms of crime in Canada. Phishing scams are attempts to obtain usernames, passwords, and credit card details for malicious reasons by pretending to be a trustworthy, legitimate business. Educating and informing consumers and communities on how to recognize, report, and stop fraud. Together with local RCMP detachments, we create a strong awareness to spread the messages on how to better protect yourself from these types of crime.
Phishing scammers use logos and fake but realistic-looking email addresses to trick users into thinking they received an email from a reputable company. They will also use other tactics to trick you into clicking a malicious link that could open the door for cybercriminals to access. In phishing scams, the texts or emails appear to be from well-known companies, social websites, banks, online processors, and IT administrators and are used to lure unsuspecting victims. These emails may also contain links to websites that are infected with malicious software that can damage your computer or device.
Other forms of Phishing
1. “Spear-Phishing” is similar to phishing, but it is more personalized. The hacker poses as someone you know to gain your trust.
2. “Whaling” is a type of phishing that targets individuals who have high-level access to data, funds, and information. (for Example management, business owners, CFOs, etc.)
Defend yourself from a Phishing attack by following the tips below.
- Do not click links from emails that you weren’t expecting, are suspicious in nature, or came from a sender, not in your contact list.
- Spot a scam by looking for misspelt words, if the sender’s email address is suspicious looking, strange or big requests, being redirected to a website that is “insecure” meaning it does not begin with HTTPS: in the website address.
- Be cautious if they don’t provide contact information.
- Look at the sender’s email address to see if you recognize it or if it looks suspicious.
- Avoid these attacks and ask for follow-up questions to the sender for clarification.
- Do not overshare information on social media, as it can be used to target or impersonate you.
Scams and cybercrimes can happen to anyone. If you have been a victim of a scam, fraud, or cybercrime, please contact your local police. For more information about scams and fraud check out www.checkfirst.ca or Canada Anti-Fraud Centre at: https://www.antifraudcentre-centreantifraude.ca/in
The current COVID-19 pandemic measures and the restrictions have significantly changed how we interact with our loved ones. Over the past year Albertans of all ages experienced social isolation and felt the effects of loneliness. The good news is that with the creation and widespread distribution of vaccines, we should soon be able to reconnect in person with loved ones and friends. As we move back towards these opportunities to reconnect, it is important to be mindful of the connections we re-establish and the new friendships we make.
Fraudsters capitalize on the pandemic to attempt to sell their investment scams. They push their scams heavily through email, social media and online forums like Facebook groups in lieu of in-person interactions. These digital avenues will continue to be popular, but with the eventual reopening of in-person activities, fraudsters will again try to prey on the perceived vulnerability of seniors. Social distancing affects everyone, but our seniors are experiencing increased isolation and loneliness as friends and family are unable to visit in person.
In a recent study conducted by the ASC, 54% of Albertans aged 45-64 believed they had been approached with a potentially fraudulent investment opportunity. By understanding the signs of fraud and remembering the fundamental principles to making wise financial decisions, older Albertans and their caregivers can recognize, avoid and report investment fraud and financial abuse. Remember the following tips to safeguard your retirement savings or those of someone you care about.