Stay secure in 2020

 In Opinion

We often hear from our readers about potential scams that may put people in the community at risk. They hope by sharing the information it will enforce people’s vigilance so that they do not fall victim and lose money or personal information. Colleen Stamp is reporting a scam, similar to that Irma Flack’s warning a few weeks prior, when she received an early morning phone call saying her credit card had been compromised. The only recourse available to us is to hang up and report.

How to recognize suspected scams:
Scammers selling anti-virus services. Unsolicited phone calls and pop-up internet advertisements that claim to provide computer anti-virus services but are actually designed to gain access to your personal computer.
Robocalls offering to consolidate your debts or lower your credit card interest rates. Calls from Automated Dialing and Announcing Devices (robocalls), often from locations outside Canada, that offer debt reduction services.
Callers falsely identifying themselves as CRTC employees and requesting remote access to your computer.

To protect yourself from scams:
Never give an unsolicited caller access to your computer. If you receive an unexpected phone call about your computer system’s security status or performance, and the caller requests remote access to your computer, hang up – even if the caller claims to represent a well-known company or product.
Don’t give out personal information. Do not give out credit card or online account details over the phone, unless you made the call and the number you are calling came from a trusted source.
Protect your computer. Make sure your computer is protected with regularly updated anti-virus and anti-spyware software, and a good firewall. But research first, and only purchase software from a source you know and trust.
Read online privacy policies. If you are considering providing personal details to a company, read their privacy policy and terms and conditions first. If you do not agree with how they will use your details, do not provide them.

If you think you have fallen victim to a scam, that you have given remote access to your computer to a suspected scammer, or that your computer has been hacked alert your financial institution. If you have provided your account details to a scammer, contact your bank or financial institution immediately and let them know. Contact the Canadian Identity Theft Support Centre at idtheftsupportcentre.org/ or by dialing 1-866-436-5461.
If you think the call might be part of a fraud scheme, contact law enforcement authorities or the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre (formerly PhoneBusters) or call 1-888-495-8501.

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