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Cyber Security Awareness Month is an internationally recognized campaign that is held in October to inform the public of the importance of cyber security.
Members of the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) remind everyone to be aware of the email scams criminals use to commit identity theft and other crimes.
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 fraud. Ransomware produces what has been called a “Police Trojan” or “scareware” because a notice pops up that appears to come from a law enforcement agency. The message is a false accusation of illegal online activities and then demands that the consumer needs to pay a fee via money transfer or credit card to unlock the computer. When the victim submits their payment details, the criminals then steal and use the victim’s personal information.
The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre (CAFC) received 5,179 ‘phishing’ complaints in 2015, identified 1,704 people as victims who lost more than $508,000. In 2015, the CAFC received 295 complaints from Canadian consumers who received a ransomware pop‐up message. Of those, 135 victims were identified as having lost a total of more than $47,000.00 – roughly $348 per victim.
To recognize and avoid phishing:
Signs that you may have encountered ransomware:
Tips to protect yourself from ransomware:
During October’s Cyber Safety Awareness Month, the OPP, other police services and international partners are promoting public awareness to help prevent all Canadians from becoming victims. If you suspect you’ve been a victim of phishing or ransomware, contact your local police service or the official entity that the ransomware appears to be from, the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre, report it to the OPP online at http://www.opp.ca/index.php?id=132 or through Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS) at https://www.tipsubmit.com/start.htm
The numbers around phishing emails are alarming:
Should you wish to remain anonymous, you can call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS) or send a web-tip to crimestop-gb.org, where you may be eligible to receive a cash reward of up to $2,000.
Charges have yet to be proven in Court
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Monday, October 17, 2016