Fraud and scams are everywhere. Just these past 3 months, Canadians has been continuously warned by RCMP about telephone scams involving the Immigration departments and Revenue Canada that has been extorting money from residents. More than that, there are ransomware stings that are targeting companies and have cost a loss of more than $3 million just this past year. There were also about 18,000 extortion-related complaints that have cost Canadians about the same. It is time to arm ourselves with knowledge and do what we can to stop these frauds right in their tracks!
Our Biggest Losses
The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre shares that the biggest dollar loss by individuals was by 990 persons who were victimized by romance scams. The victims have lost about $16 million just for scams related to internet dating. Investment scams are not far behind at having a victim toll of 268 and a loss of $8 million. Prizes scams resulted to people being swindled out of $7.1 million, spear phishing about $6 million, and extortion scams coming in at $3.1 million. Fake infected computers and fake service warnings fooled 5,700 residents out of their hard-earned $2.8 million.
If you’re into information technology, data handling, or a CISO (Chief Information Security Officer) then you know just how serious the fraud situation is and why it is important to educate people about Fraud Prevention Month, even if just for consumer awareness.
Guide to Fraud Trends and Other Threats
KMPG Canada released their Cyber Watch guide with the aim of creating awareness for protecting one’s self from cyber and fraud-related threats. They include:
- Combating the increased extortion-driven stacks and ransomware attempts by knowing where your valuable data is stored and keeping it safe either by having backups and/or having a sound recovery strategy. As for ransomware, protocols have to be in place and all employees must be made aware of them.
- Organizations have to be on top of all the changes in security and be ready for governments, courts, consumers, and privacy commissioners pressuring them to be more transparent about their breach notification and cyber security readiness.
- Organizations have to be prepared for possibly needing to write and develop their own software as mobile-related vulnerabilities continue to increase. This includes employee education about the possible malware carried by apps to prevent leakage of data.
- Organizations will have to focus more on improving threat detection versus prevention as a primary tool to be always be one step ahead of attacks. Real-time intelligence tools should be used more to protect the sensitive information one may have. Intelligence is not just about prevention, it is about identifying threats, mitigating them, and responding to them.
- CISOs will have to be vigilant towards risks posed by suppliers and partners. Being hacked through a supplier happened in 2014 for U.S.’s Target stores in 2014. A full audit may be needed to identify and monitor security gaps.
Fraud Prevention Month Ongoing and Future Events
The Canadian Federation of Independent Businesses will be having another webinar tomorrow, March 10, 2016 (same as yesterday) as part of the Fraud Prevention Month events. The webinar will be about preventing fraud in small businesses and will start at 1 p.m. Eastern. The French version is scheduled today.
A Twitterchat by the Financial Services Commission of Ontario is scheduled today from 1 to 2 p.m. Eastern. Follow hashtag #Fraudchat to know more. A repeat of this is scheduled on the 31st of March.
Lastly, the Better Business Bureau declared the 15th of march as Password Reset Day. Know more about your password’s vulnerability from out blogs on the worst passwords list and protecting your privacy.