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Criminals use phishing nets to steal your personal information and your identity according to members of the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) Anti-Rackets Branch.
Phishing is any e-mail falsely claiming to be from an established, legitimate organization such as a financial institution, business or government agency. The e-mail may request or direct the consumer to visit a certain website to update or provide personal and/or financial information and passwords. It is really a malicious attempt to collect customer information for the purpose of committing identity theft and fraud.
In 2015, phishing scams were used by criminals to commit identity theft and other crimes 1,702 times, according to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre. During that period, 510 Ontario victims – often seniors – were swindled out of more than $93,000. Aware that 95 per cent of victims do not report the crime, police continue to encourage everyone to be wary of email scams and to ensure a complaint is filed for further investigation.
Police say you can avoid getting caught in a phishing net by taking some simple steps:
If you or someone you know suspect they’ve been a victim of phishing, contact your local police service. You can also file a complaint through the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre or toll-free by telephone at 1-888-495-8501.
The OPP and its Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre partners – the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and the Competition Bureau of Canada –, have joined police services across the country to help prevent all Canadians from becoming victims of fraud. Join the ongoing conversation on your social media channels to prevent further harm and victimization by using the hashtags #FPM2016 #DontBeAVictim and#OPPtips .
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Additionally, if you have information concerning fraud operations or scam activity in Canada, you can contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS), or online at https://www.tipsubmit.com/start.htm “Recognize, Reject and Report Fraud”
"Criminals prey on some of society’s most vulnerable people and our business systems that are built on trust. To prevent further harm and victimization, we all need to do what we can to make the unsuspecting public aware of the damaging financial impacts phishing and identity theft can have on victims," Assistant Deputy Commissioner Don Bell.
"Phishing’ – and its text and social media counterparts ‘smishing’ and ‘vishing’ – are ways for criminals to gather your personal information. Knowledge is power. Never give out your personal information over the phone, on the internet or through social media," added Detective Insp. Mike Bickerton, Director of the OPP Anti-Rackets Branch.
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Thursday, March 31, 2016