October 24, 2019 9:44am
It is annoying. You get a phone call from someone claiming to be from Service Canada, who obviously is not from Service Canada, or are they?
The Ontario Provincial Police have always told the public not to fall for those scams, saying government agencies never demand payment in bitcoin currency or gift cards, but even if you are not taken in, they want you to report it.
“The Ontario Provincial Police caution anyone who has been scammed to immediately report the scam or fraud to the police, even if a financial transaction did not occur,” the OPP said in a release Thursday morning. “Reports help police with their investigations and identify current types of scams and frauds.”
Cybercriminals have taken Canadians for more than $43 million so far this year, according to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.
Listen: A Chatham-Kent councillor takes on a scammer that called him.
If you do become a victim, do not let personal embarrassment prevent you from reporting the crime. Cybercriminals still use traditional frauds and scams, like phishing, service, and romance, to extort money.
The OPP said the romance scam is one of the most under-reported scams, but 776 victims lost a total of $23 million last year, and the total number of victims is likely much higher.
Some advice from police should you get a phone call, contact your local police. Do not continue to communicate with the scammer, and collect all correspondence with the scammer. Notify financial institutions that your account may be affected. Also, change your passwords and update your computer security software.
October is Cyber Security Awareness Month, and for more information, go to Get Cyber Safe, Cyber Security Awareness Month toolkit, and Cyber Security Risks.