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Identity #theft alert: How 77,0000 Canadians lost $99 million last year in #extortion, #phishing and #romance scams

Source: National Cyber Security – Produced By Gregory Evans

Identity #theft alert: How 77,0000 Canadians lost $99 million last year in #extortion, #phishing and #romance scams

Randy Chester was visiting one of his usual second-hand haunts this summer, a Value Village in Toronto’s east end, when he spied a beautiful shirt and vest for $20. Excited about his new finds, he tapped his debit card, only to be shocked by the resulting message: Insufficient funds.

“I was upset because I knew I had money,” he recalls. He tried the card again at a variety store, a restaurant and then at an ATM belonging to his bank, CIBC, and got the same message. When he called the bank to see what was going on, they asked him if he had been shopping at Yorkdale Mall in the city’s north end. There was a $1,500 purchase debited from his account, but Chester, a cancer patient on disability who uses a walker, had been at a medical appointment at the Princess Margaret Cancer Hospital that day.

“It’s like, hello!” he jokes. “Value Village, yes. Yorkdale Mall, no. I couldn’t get there with my walker.”

Then he remembered that a young man had called him on his flip-phone a few days before, claiming to be from CIBC and saying there was a problem with his debit card. Chester knew better than to talk to anyone about his banking information and hung up. The next day, he got a text message, purportedly from CIBC, that had the last four digits of his debit card number in it, and asked him to text back “Y” for yes if it was his account. He assumed because they had his number already, it was legitimate. He hit Y and send.

“The bank told me they would never send a text message,” says Chester, 61. “I didn’t know that.”

Once he reported the problem, the bank locked down his account, reversed the charges, and gave him a new bank card. But it’s impossible to tell how the scammers got his bank information, which is often the case when it comes to identity theft, says Jessica Gunson, the acting call centre and intake unit manager at the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre in Thunder Bay, Ont.

“It certainly sounds like a variation on phishing,” she says, but notes that it’s unusual because the thief already had Chester’s bank information when he or she sent the text.

“We do know thieves have been known to dumpster dive, and it underlines the importance of having a paper shredder in the home and in the office. We need to treat our personal information like cash.” For that reason, experts advise leaving your Social Insurance Number card and birth certificate in a safe place at home, since thieves can do a lot of damage with your name, birth date and SIN.

The Canadian Anti-fraud Centre, jointly managed by the Ontario Provincial Police, the RCMP, the federal Competition Bureau, manages the central database for fraud complaints. Investigators across the country rely on its vast stores of data to compare notes on mass-marketing fraud and online scams. In 2016, it logged more than 77,000 complaints that resulted in losses of more than $99-million, with the top scams by complaint involving extortion, phishing, and fake computer-service companies. The frauds that resulted in the most money lost were romance scams, at more than $20-million.

Though Gunson could not begin to guess how criminals got Chester’s information, she said it is important never to leave a paper receipt of a transaction in or near the banking machine, and to use online banking to check balances, rather than printing them out at ATMs.

“When it comes to identity theft and identity fraud, the difficulty is in pinpointing the source. Unless (investigators) find a boiler room where people are mass producing ID, it is difficult to determine on an individual basis where it is coming from.”

The good news is most cases of identity theft and identity fraud result in little financial loss to the victims, but Gunson says it takes time and effort to untangle the mess.

In Montreal, actor Paul Burke figures someone used a surveillance camera or fake keypad or card reader to obtain his PIN, which they used to empty his account of $700 in the summer of 2010. He called the bank, which contacted the RCMP. And then he waited.

“ I called them back after a week and I said, ‘I have zero money. I need my money back,” says Burke, 48.

Within a day or two of that call he had the money in his account, but to this day he has no clue what happened.

“It was so bizarre. I consider it a one-off, but obviously I should be more careful.”

The post Identity #theft alert: How 77,0000 Canadians lost $99 million last year in #extortion, #phishing and #romance scams appeared first on National Cyber Security Ventures.

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Lindsay man loses thousands to ‘Romance Scam’

To Purchase This Product/Services, Go To The Store Link Above Or Go To http://www.become007.com/store/ A Lindsay man has been defrauded of almost $4000.00 in what police are describing as a romance scam. The man attended Kawartha Lakes Police on July 31st, 2017 indicating that he had lost almost $4000.00 out…

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Father of 3 bags 3 years in prison for $3650 online romance scam

To Purchase This Product/Services, Go To The Store Link Above Or Go To http://www.become007.com/store/ Okechukwu Brown, a father of three, was on Monday in Lagos sentenced to three years imprisonment for defrauding an American of 3,650 dollars in an online romance scam. Justice Josephine Oyefeso …

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Online Romance Scams Are Fleecing More Americans

To Purchase This Product/Services, Go To The Store Link Above Or Go To http://www.become007.com/store/ A Texas woman in her fifties was trapped in an abusive marriage. But against all odds — and to her joyful amazement — she found her soulmate online. The man she …

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Crooks stealing military ID’s to commit online romance scams

To Purchase This Product/Services, Go To The Store Link Above Or Go To http://www.become007.com/store/ Thieves are taking “catfishing” to a new low by stealing military ID’s to commit online romance scams. ‘Dean McGuire’ is 42 and lives in Miami Beach. On a social media site, …

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MA degree holder loses over HK$1 mln in romance scam

To Purchase This Product/Services, Go To The Store Link Above Or Go To http://www.become007.com/store/ A 41-year-old woman with a master’s degree lost a total of HK$1.07 million to a pair of swindlers, including a foreigner with whom she had become romantically involved. One of the …

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Never choose your own dating profile picture if you want to find romance, say scientists

Daters are being warned not to choose their own profile picture if they want to find romance online. New research has found that strangers are far better at picking the most flattering images to give a more favourable first impression to prospective suitors. The findings appear to contradict previous research which showed that people tend to portray themselves more favorably than others. “Our findings suggest that people make poor choices when selecting flattering images of themselves for online profile pictures, which affects other people’s perception of them,” said Dr David White, lead author from the University of New South Wales in Sydney. Read More….

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North Bay woman reveals step-by-step tactics of online romance scam costing her $35K

A North Bay woman is still reeling after losing over $30K to man she met on Plenty of Fish, an online dating site. CBC Sudbury agreed not to publish the woman’s name. In an interview with CBC’s Morning North, she described how she was lured in, and the pitfalls of believing everything you see in an online profile. It started when she uploaded her profile to Plenty of Fish. “The online dating site tells you to be honest, to write a genuine dating profile,” she said. Read More….

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North Bay woman loses thousands in online romance scam

North Bay police are warning people to be wary of online romance after a local woman lost thousands of dollars to a fraudster. According to a release issued by police today, the suspect contacted the woman through an online dating site and the two built a relationship. Without ever meeting her in person, he convinced the victim to send money, police said. Beware these common frauds Police say examples of these frauds include: the fraudster is located in a far country and needs money for travel to meet the victim the fraudster needs funds for an emergency such as a sick family member the “rich and successful” fraudster needs funds to pay employees and promises to pay the victim back money is needed to secure a large business contract while travelling, a government seized funds from the fraudster and won’t release the money until a fine is paid North Bay police also advise on how to protect yourself against a romance scam: Read More….

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5 Students Who Allegedly Defraud American Women Through Romance Scam Arrested. Photo

The Ibadan Zonal office of EFCC, Monday, 20th March, 2017 took over five suspected internet fraudsters arrested by men of the Oyo State Joint Security Task Force, ‘Operation Burst’ for further investigation…. The suspects, which includes Oyewole Oyeleye Olatunji (28), Adeniran Adeyinka Yusuf (29), Samuel Olumide Adeola (29), Israel Adeola (24) and Olorunyemi Savior Imonah (24) were arrested March 13, 2017, during a routine surveillance at Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH) Ogbomosho. They confessed to have defrauded some American women through various romance scam using different dating sites. Read More….

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