With the holiday season approaching, officers in the Sault Ste. Marie Police Services Central Support Bureau have been receiving more frequent reports of online fraud.
One occurrence, the victim received an urgent-looking pop-up for technical support while using the internet which cost the victim $2,000, according to a news release.
Police urge the community to be alert to potential online criminals, offering the following tips to stay safe:
- Don’t be afraid to say no
- Never release any personal information over the phone to someone you don’t know, including banking and social insurance information.
- Remember, legitimate organizations have nothing to hide. You have the right to request additional information, a call back number and references and time to think about the offer.
- If it sounds too good to be true it likely is.
- If you have any doubt about the legitimacy of the call, email, or communication, hang up or do not respond. It’s not rude, it’s smart.
- Recognize spoofing – fraudsters can manipulate caller ID, email, and website addresses.
- Use strong passwords for any online activity and change them regularly.
If you are concerned an interaction may be fraudulent, contact the police and a member will assist you with your concerns. For more information on how to protect yourself from fraudulent activity, please visit the website, and/or the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.