March is Fraud Prevention Month
ORILLIA, ON, March 1, 2012 /CNW/ - As the online world continues to
evolve daily, so have the scams criminals use to defraud unwitting
consumers, according to members of the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP)
The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre (CAFC; formerly Phonebusters) reports on-line fraud scams are increasingly impacting Canadian
consumers, taking millions of dollars out of the pockets of victims
During online anti-virus repair schemes, representatives 'cold call'
individuals and state that, for example, "your computer is running
slow" or "has viruses". The fraudsters then offer to repair the
computer over the Internet, which can involve the installation of
software or the customers allowing the representatives remote access to
their computer. Payment for the software or repair service is handled
via credit card. In 2011, the CAFC received 9,349 complaints from
Canadians. The 2,119 people who were identified as victims lost a total
of just under $447,000.
Other variations of the scam involve consumers responding to pop-up ads
online. These pop-ups are often referred to as 'Scareware' as the
message in the pop-up is commonly crafted to make you feel a sense of
alarm and anxiety and that there is a threat to your computer if you
don't click on the link.
Allowing a third party to download software or remotely access a
computer carries inherent risks. 'Keyloggers' or other malicious
software could be installed to capture sensitive data, such as online
banking user names and passwords, bank account information, and your
Police advise you to invest in and install reputable security software
and keep it up to date.
If you suspect you or someone you know has been a victim of on-line
fraud, contact your local police service or CrimeStoppers at
FRAUD…Recognize it…Report it…Stop it.
"Perpetrators of fraud prey upon the most vulnerable people in society
and the impact of their fraudulent activities is staggering. The money
taken is used to fuel other illegal activities, further victimizing the
- Deputy Commissioner Scott TOD, OPP Investigations and Organized Crime
"The OPP officer who started Phonebusters in the 1990's -- Barry Elliott -- realized quickly that police cannot
catch all of the fraudsters. An educated consumer is still the best
defence against online fraud."
-- Detective Inspector Paul Beesley, OPP Anti-Rackets Branch
OPP - March is Fraud Prevention Month
Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre - Online Fraud
Glossary of Pitch Types from the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre
Phishing: Any e-mail falsely claiming to be an established legitimate
organization such as a financial institution, business or government
agency in an attempt to have the consumer surrender private and
personal information. The e-mail may request or direct the consumer to
visit a web site where they are asked to update or provide personal
and/or financial information.
Modem-Hijacking: Any victim who unknowingly downloads a virus or program that uses the
phone line to make long distance calls.
Personal Information: Any solicitation where an individual is asked for or to verify private
and personal information.
MEDIA NOTE: This is the first of five weekly OPP media releases on various criminal
activities as part of Fraud Prevention Month.
SOURCE Ontario Provincial Police
For further information:
Contact: Detective Constable Dave Felstead
OPP Anti-Rackets Branch