The Red Deer RCMP would like to remind everyone to keep cyber security top of mind to protect their personal and financial information, especially as the holiday shopping season approaches.
In 2019, cyber-related frauds accounted for almost 30 per cent of all fraud reports and 40 per cent of all fraud losses. It is estimated that only five per cent of victims will report the fraud to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Center.
Your email is perhaps the most important online account to protect.
If a criminal gets access, they can re-set passwords for most of your other online accounts and intercept e-transfers. In the case of business email accounts, it can be used to steal from you and your customers.
Here are some tips on how to protect yourself and your online accounts:
· Use a unique, strong password for each of your accounts. Do not use the same password on different sites or accounts.
· Setup multi-factor authentication to make it more difficult for someone else to access your accounts
· Be careful what you reveal about yourself online. Many social media quizzes are designed to get answers to the most common security questions.
· When sending e-transfers or signing up for auto-deposit, use hard-to-guess passwords.
· Avoid reacting automatically. Take five minutes to question the information and listen to your instincts. If something doesn’t seem right, talk to someone else about it.
· Verify unusual email requests to change payment information with a phone call.
· Be wary of unsolicited emails offering job or investment opportunities; elaborate spear phishing email fraudsters are highly skilled at extracting personal information.
· If the person requests payment in Bitcoin, be cautious. CRA and other government agencies will not request payment in Bitcoin or gift cards.
To get more #CyberSecurity tips throughout the month of November, follow @RCMPAlberta on Twitter and @RCMPinAlberta on Facebook. You can also visit www.getcybersafe.gc.ca for more tips.
If you think you are a victim of fraud, please call the Red Deer RCMP at 403-343-5575.
You are also encouraged to report the incident to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at 1-888-495-8501 or online at www.antifraudcentre-centreantifraude.ca.