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Scams target your personal and financial information
Kelowna RCMP have received several complaints of various ‘phishing’ scams recently and are warning the public to take a few precautions in order to protect their personal and financial information.
Over the past couple of weeks, police have received reports of the ‘Microsoft Scam’, ‘Canada Revenue Scam’ and ‘Scareware’. All three of these scams are specifically designed to target your personal or financial information in order to take your hard-earned money.
The ‘Microsoft Scam’ consists of a cold-call from a person claiming to represent a well-known brand, such as Microsoft, advising the victim that they have detected a computer problem, infection or virus on their computer.
The scam revolves around getting remote access to the victim’s computer in order to demonstrate where the ‘problems’ are and convince the victim to pay a fee for a service that will ‘fix’ the computer despite that there is probably nothing really wrong with it. In the process, your credit card information is compromised as well as your computer, which is a potential fountain of information.
The ‘Canada Revenue Scam’ begins with a cold-call, email or letter fraudulently claiming to be from the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). The scam asks you to verify your personal information, such as a social insurance, credit card, bank account, and passport numbers, in order to receive a refund or benefit payment. Providing your personal information will not get you a refund or payment and will only serve to compromise your credit.
‘Scareware’ or ‘Ransomware’ is a pop-up message stating that your computer has been frozen or will be frozen unless you pay. The message is designed to create shock and anxiety so that you will respond by sending money quickly. Your computer will not be unlocked if you pay the money and you will never get your money back.
For further information on the ‘Canada Revenue Scam’, please go the CRA website at http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/ntcs/bwr-eng.html