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OPP Warn Public About Phishing

Phishing is when fraudsters pose as legitimate organizations through text or e-mail.

The OPP anti rackets branch is cautioning residents to be wary of a common practice done by scam artists known as Phishing. 

Phishing is any e-mail falsely claiming to be from an established legitimate organization and it is done to gather your personal information. Last year 510 people fell victim to phishing and were swindled out of over $93,000. Detective Constable Ted Schendera tells Heart FM they often target seniors with these scams. 

"By and large it seems to seniors they target, it's not always seniors but they seem to be the target more so in the sense that they come from a very trusting era, where the phone was a very trusting use of technology." 

Schendera says they are worried there are more victims out there because 95% of victims often do not report the crime because they are embarrassed. 

Police say you can avoid becoming caught in a phishing net by taking some simple steps:

- Do not reply to any e-mail or text messages that requests your personal information;

- Look for misspelled words;

- Protect your computer with anti-virus software, spyware filters, e-mail filters and firewall programs;

- Protect your passwords and change them frequently; and,

- Contact the financial institution immediately and report your suspicions.

If you or someone you know suspect they’ve been a victim of phishing, contact your local police service. You can also file a complaint through the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre or toll-free by telephone at 1-888-495-8501.

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