March 18, 2013, Halifax Regional Municipality (HRM)
Internet-related fraud is truly a global crime. It can happen to anyone, anywhere, regardless of age, nationality, gender or occupation. The criminals involved in internet fraud can operate from anywhere on the planet where there is an internet connection.
Internet fraud covers a wide range of activities, but here is a quick example: receiving an e-mail message that appears to be from a legitimate organization like a bank, government agency, charity group or other not-for-profit organizations. These emails include an urgent request for personal information, or request an immediate update to an account. Clicking on a link provided in the email leads to an official-looking website. Personal information provided to this site, however, goes directly to the scam artist. In the body of the e-mail, the organization or agency may asks for personal information like date of birth, social insurance number, mother’s maiden name, banking information or passwords. This is all sensitive information, and in the wrong hands, it could be used to access your bank accounts or set up credit cards in your name.
These scams seek to create doubt in the recipient’s mind and cause people to act before considering the legitimacy of the request. If you receive any requests like this, contact your financial institution immediately but don’t use the links and/or phone numbers provided in the suspicious email.
Always remember that financial institutions don’t communicate with clients about financial accounts/issues in this manner.
The way to protect yourself is simple: Never send anyone your password or other sensitive information. A legitimate organization would never ask for it.