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How To Avoid phishing scams

In the past few weeks, the Kimberley RCMP, via their social media page, have been educating Kimberley residents about phishing.

The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre reports that it received 7,190 reports of phishing last year and it estimates that only five per cent of phishing attempts are reported.

Phishing is an attempt to get your personal information. Common phishing tactics are posing as government agencies, often the Canada Revenue Agency; law enforcement impersonations; bank impersonations, offers of refunds, and more, even a family member looking for help. These can come in the form of texts, emails or phone calls.

The message may claim that you need to update your account or that your tax refund is ready. Whatever the message is, it’s an attempt to trick you into providing your personal or financial information, says the CAFC.

A variation of phishing scams are messages with minimal text that encourage you to click on links or download attachments. The message may seem to be a receipt from a recent purchase, a delivery notification, or something more urgent, such as a notice to appear in court. If you click on the link or attachment, your computer is infected with a virus or malware.

The CAFC offers these quick prevention tips:

• Don’t click on links from unsolicited messages

• Don’t download attachments from unsolicited messages

• Watch for spelling mistakes

• Don’t trust a message just because the email address looks legitimate; fraudsters can spoof the address

• Beware of messages claiming to be from the Government of Canada or a law enforcement agency; they will never contact you to offer funds via email or e-transfer

Phishing scams also tend to pick up as we enter the holiday season. Holiday online shoppers should be aware of fake website scams. A simple spelling mistake while typing in an URL can lead to a scam website that looks very similar to the one you were trying to access.

There is also the gift card scam where the seller asks you to pay for your purchase with a gift card instead. Gift cards are untraceable, and once you’ve sent them, they are gone. Beware of travel offers that are too good to be true. Because so many people shop online during the holidays, the opportunities to fall into a scam are numerous.

This article was originally sourced from www.kimberleybulletin.com