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Online scams are rising in Canada

As more Canadians worked, shopped and socialized online during the pandemic, online scams are rising in Canada as cybercriminals have seized their opportunity. 

A record cost of $380 million to online fraud occurred in 2021. Ontario led the country, swindled out of $313 million or $3,000 per incident. What is more, that’s twice the volume in 2020. 

But when adjusting for population size, Manitoba unceremoniously is the winner. It’s an alarming trend, writes Social Catfish, an online dating investigation site that conducted the study. Further, it suggests a broader global movement in which scammers have the upper hand. 

Consequently, the trend won’t abate.  

Expectedly, the most reported scam in Canada is extortion. As a result, they categorized nearly 30 percent of incidents over the past five years as extortion, particularly romance scams. While romance scams account for only two percent of incidents, they make up 20 percent of the money lost since 2017. 

The prevalent online scams

Near the top of the list are fake COVID-19 testing sites to collect people’s personal and medical information. In addition, scammers capitalized by selling counterfeit at-home COVID-19 tests. Further, Robocalls, legitimate-looking texts, and voice calls requesting you to download their apps round out the list. 

General tips to avoid cybercriminals 

First, practise the pause. Evaluate what a caller is requesting. Is this an organization you deal with, and that knows you? Breathe.

Second, if you don’t know the person, ask to speak with someone familiar.

Third, anyone refusing to video or meet in person is a red flag.

Fourth, grab the photo from their profile for a reverse image search.

Cyology Labs can answer your questions about protecting yourself, your family, and your business. Our role is to be one step ahead of the nefarious threat agents. By downloading our trusted Fraudster app, you can report suspicious activities at home, on your devices, or sneaking around your business network. 

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