Many people spend several hours each day online – be it at work, at home or on the go. Unfortunately, so do Internet scammers who may be “phishing” for your personal info. The Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection B.C. have teamed up during Fraud Prevention Month, a month-long national initiative that aims to help Canadians recognize, prevent and report fake activities to help British Columbians not to “get reeled in by a phishing scam.”
What is the Phishing Scam?
Phishing or brand spoofing is when scammers create web pages or email messages from what appear to be well-known and trusted businesses, like a bank or credit card company. The goal of these fraudsters is to trick you into submitting sensitive data, such as credit card numbers, bank account information, social insurance numbers and passwords that will be used to commit fraud. By simply clicking on one of these phishing emails and supplying your personal information, you could become a victim of this prevalent fraud.
How to avoid the Phishing Scam
- Protect your computer with anti-virus software, spyware filters, email filters and firewall programs
- Don’t reply to any email that requests your personal information – even if it looks like your bank is asking for a payment because they claim your credit card bill is overdue
- Look for misspelled words
- Don’t send personal data over public wireless networks as they may or may not be secure
- If you receive a suspicious email, contact the real institution as well as the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at 1-888-495-8501 or at firstname.lastname@example.org
To learn more
- If you have questions about your rights and responsibilities as a consumer in B.C., please contact Consumer Protection B.C. toll free at 1-888-564-9963 or visit www.consumerprotectionbc.ca
- Want more info about Fraud Prevention Month? Then visit this site.
Feature Image: Libnot