Dealing with fraudsters attempting to steal your identity or money can come in a variety of forms, whether online or over the phone.
Local RCMP officials said reports of scammers attempting to take advantage of residents have become common.
“Almost daily, we’re getting calls from people who believe they’re getting defrauded,” said Sgt. Steve Woodcox, Kimberley RCMP spokesperson. “In a lot of cases, we’re assisting people with not following through with some of these emails and scams that are being sent out.”
Jordan Alias, owner of All 7 Tech, said the best way to protect yourself online is to recognize what could be a scam
“These people are savvy, they’re doing everything they can to get you to believe they’re trustworthy. Maybe they come in your email, or try to come in and trick your family into giving some money away,” said Alias.
Woodcox said the Kimberley RCMP detachment gets between four to eight calls per week from residents reporting potential scams in the community of just over 8,000 people.
“If you are hesitant about an email you receive or you get a phone call from someone asking you and wanting money and making up a story that doesn’t feel right, call us (the police) before you proceed,” said Woodcox. “We don’t want to see people scammed or frauded out of their hard-earned savings.”
According to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre (CAFC), scamming has become a lucrative business, as Canadians lost approximately $383-million to fraud in 2021.
The CAFC has only been able to recover 0.9 per cent, or about $3.35-million, from that total.
Some of the most common types of email and phone scams in 2021 were investment and romance, which is referred to as phishing.
Phishing relies on an attempted fraudster posing as a legitimate business, organization or individual in an attempt to get your personal information, money or both.
“These scams leverage existing relationships between the person receiving the email and the person sending it,” said CAFC officials. “The sender’s address appears to be the actual email address of the source they’re pretending to be, a tactic known as spoofing.”
These kinds of scams may target you individually or use you to get to the company you work for.
Emails impersonating legitimate companies or people may be spotted by looking for typos or grammatical errors, misused logos, or unusual formatting.
If you receive a phone call with a pre-recorded message threatening you with legal action or claiming an account has been charged, that call is not legitimate.
More: Protect yourself from scams and fraud (CAFC)