Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre received more than 7,000 reports of phishing as of Sept. 30
ONTARIO PROVINCIAL POLICE
The following bulletin was prepared by the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre (CAFC) and supported by the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) and members of the OPP to warn and educate Canadians of ongoing financial scams.
As of Sept. 30, the CAFC has received 7,051 reports of phishing where 1,722 people were victims. Phishing scams are associated with misleading and deceptive emails or text messages, falsely claiming to be from a legitimate organization, such as a financial institution, business or government agency. Phishing messages will ask you to click on a link or download an attachment for various reasons. The goal is to steal your personal and/or financial information.
Victims of phishing are putting themselves at risk for:
After stealing your personal information, fraudsters can use your identity to:
- Access your bank accounts
- Open new bank accounts
- Transfer bank balances
- Apply for loans and credit cards
- Buy goods and services
- Hide their criminal activities
- Get passports or receive government benefits
Most ransomware incidents start with an email phishing campaign. The email will contain an attachment, which can be an executable file, an archive, an image or a link. Once the attachment is opened or the link is clicked, the malware is then released onto the user’s system. The malware can remain dormant for many days or months before files or systems are encrypted or locked.
Spear phishing scams involve fraudsters pretending to be from legitimate sources trying to convince businesses or individuals to send them money. These scams leverage existing relationships between the person receiving the email and the person sending it. The sender’s address appears to be the actual email address of the source they’re pretending to be, a tactic known as spoofing. In many cases, suspects can gather the information required for a spear phishing scam after accessing the victim’s system through a phishing campaign.
Warning signs — how to protect yourself:
- Beware of unsolicited text messages and emails from individuals or organizations asking you to click on a link or attachment
- Watch for spelling mistakes
- Look at the hyperlink behind the link’s text or button by hovering over the text
- When in doubt, do not click on links or attachments; they can contain viruses or spyware
- The Government of Canada will never send funds by email or text message
- Law enforcement will never demand payment and will not threaten arrest by email or phone
- Learn more tips and tricks for protecting yourself from fraud.
Anyone who suspects they have been the victim of cybercrime or fraud should report it to their local police and to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre’s online reporting system or by phone at 1-888-495-8501. If you were targeted, but did not fall victim, report it to the CAFC anyways.
This Cyber Month, get involved:
Please share this information to your family and friends and you can report these types of calls to the CAFC via its online reporting system or by phone at 1-888-495-8501.