Cyber Scams – How not to be a victim, Part 2

Since our last blog on cyber scams, the scams have evolved.

The basic scam is this – an individual will call in which he/she identifies him/herself as tech support, help desk or even so bold as to say they are calling from Microsoft, Google, Samsung or Apple. They use the big company names to sound legitimate. What they are going to ask you to do is to install software or to go to a website and type in a code. Both of these are going to result in you installing what is called ‘remote access software’ on your computer. That means that they can take over your computer as you have just given them entry.

The second method is through emails, otherwise known as ‘Phishing’. These are emails that are designed to look like they come from legitimate and trusted business such as banks, the CRA, and other government agencies. Once you open the attachment or link it will download malicious software onto your computer.

Here is an example of what a phishing scam in an email message might look like.

Ref: Visa Canada

Ref: Visa Canada

The most recent RCMP and CRA scam is tied together as one. Currently ‘The RCMP is warning of fraudulent telephone calls in which the caller identifies themselves as an RCMP officer calling to collect fines or income taxes or a variety of other scam tactics. The caller tells the victim they must pay immediately or will be arrested within 24 hours. In some cases, “RCMP” appears on the victim’s call display.’

Be aware:

  • Don’t give out credit card or personal information out over the phone. Ask if there are any charges for the ‘services’. If yes, hang up.

  • Never download any software or programs to allow a third party person access to your computer.

  • Report phone scams. Contact your local police, and the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre (Toll free 1-888-495-8501).

  • Be aware: the RCMP does not contact individuals for the purpose of collecting fines or taxes and NEVER asks the public to make a payment over the telephone.

The worst part of it all, is that, if you have inadvertently fallen prey to one of these scams, you might get hit again. It’s called the ‘refund’ scam. You will get a call back asking if you have paid for any tech support services. Someone may ask you if you were happy. When you say you weren’t, the scammer offers a refund. They again will want your banking information to deposit some money. They will in fact, withdraw.

If you do get caught, please change your password to your main email and the log in to your computer. If you have given out any credit card information, call your bank and report the scam immediately. Remove all remote access software and run a virus scan. And remember if you need help,  we can provide you with this service.