Fraud in Canada has been a problem for quite a while, but it is now growing stronger than ever as the digital age provides fraudsters with more ways to commit fraud. Digital fraud used to be just confined to identity theft via phishing but these days there’s smishing, shimmers, and tech-support fraud to be wary about too.
Do you know that more than $405 million were lost by Canadians to scammers from 2014 to 2017? That is alarming, more so that $94 million of the losses were scammed from Canadians who are between 60 and 79 years of age. Scammers will stop at nothing to invent new ways of stealing information. The most common ones to look out for are discussed below.
Smishing and What It Is
Phishing via SMS is called smishing. Smishing is a form of information theft wherein fraudsters pretend to be legitimate institutions via text in order for victims to respond with their personal information.
The most common smishing scams start with a fake text informing the targeted individuals that there are problems with their accounts and that a call is needed to sort things out. During the call, victims are asked for personal details that the scammers can use to hack accounts or to steal either more information or money.
Smishing is easy to avoid. Simply ignore suspicious texts and if concerned, call your institutions’ web-listed contact number from another phone.
Tech-Support Fraud and What It Is
Tech-support fraud usually begins when scammers use malware to freeze a computer and initiating a pop-up warning that tech-support must be called right away. The warning pop-up may look like a legitimate one from your internet browser, antivirus software, or device manufacturer but is actually a message planted with a scamming software.
Upon initiating a call, the scammer might tell you that you have to pay a certain amount before your device can be fixed or that you’ll have to provide remote access so the scammer can control your device remotely. Anything can happen from here, including blackmail.
Shimmers and What They Are
Upgrade credit card skimmers and you’ll get shimmers. They are devices that are made smaller and more challenging to detect than credit card skimmers and one of the newest tools in scammers’ arsenal.
Shimmers are generally installed into gas pump card readers and ATM machines by scammers in Canada but they can be installed anywhere that will let them read and record your data from your chip-embedded bank cards.
Shimmers are often very thin and can fit almost undetected inside a card reader. Installing them is easy for scammers as some machines that use card readers are not inspected frequently.
To be on the safer side, use machines installed in banks and avoid ones in convenience stores or small establishments. It is better to take precautions than to be sorry later.
Have you had a problem with shimmers, smishing, or tech-support fraud? Contact Haywood Hunt & Associates to avail of our investigative services. Whether you are an individual or a corporation, you’ll surely benefit from what we can do to help you combat fraud.