Online fraudsters appear to be using a new format in attempting to collect both personal information and financial information.
Quadra Island RCMP received a report on Nov. 30 from a concerned citizen regarding an email that supposedly came from Canada Post.
The email claims Canada Post has a parcel held in your name that requires personal information to claim and payment for outstanding delivery fees because the label was damaged. Everything looks very legitimate with Canada Post logos and links to payment options.
The problem is when people provide their payment information, they provide the fraudsters all the important information they need to use the credit card information you’ve provided to make purchases on other sites, like address, card number, expiry date and the CVV number on the back of the card.
“Unfortunately, these kind of phishing emails are all too prevalent,” said Const. Maury Tyre, Campbell River RCMP spokesperson. “For the most part these types of scams target those with the least amount of knowledge on Internet usage and email systems, and sadly that often means that senior citizens can be extremely vulnerable to these kinds of scams.”
Other common formats for the scam, are emails from common providers like Amazon, Apple, financial institutions, and Netflix. Scammers will mimic an email from these businesses in hopes that you do business with them. They will tell you there’s something wrong with your account or delivery and ask for personal information and financial information to rectify the situation. Quite simply the emails are click bait, and should be deleted.
“Some people really will want to respond to these emails, and it’s because they look very, very real,” said Tyre. “If people are concerned that there is a problem with their account or that someone has a package for you that you need to claim, you can check to see if it’s legitimate by exiting your email, doing a search and finding the company’s customer service email and contact them directly to ask if there’s a concern. Do not click links within the emails, they are likely to take you to a fake website.”
“Unfortunately, so often, if you have been defrauded online it’s been done by people in countries where Canadian law enforcement agencies have no reach, which is why the focus is very much on education,” Const. Tyre said.
The RCMP and other police agencies continue to warn people of ongoing internet frauds and encourage people to check with The Canadian Anti Fraud Centre online which can provide you information to protect yourself by explaining common ongoing frauds.
If you have been a victim of fraud, report it to your local police agency and to The Canadian Anti Fraud Centre.