Scams, like everything else, have moved into the digital age.
While the Nigerian prince email may have become more of a punchline than a threat these days, scammers are inventing new ways to try and steal your information almost daily.
Every Canadian, no matter their age, income, or education, has the potential to fall victim to a scam. The Competition Bureau says that between 2014 and 2017, Canadians lost over $405 million to scammers; with $94 million of that being from Canadians aged 60 to 79.
The best way to protect yourself from becoming a victim is by being aware of popular scams, and how to avoid them.
SMS phishing, or “Smishing”, is one of the latest techniques scammers are using to try and steal your personal information.
Smishing scams are like phishing emails, where a scammer pretends to be a trustworthy institution and tries to get you to send personal information, except sent through text message.
One popular scam is to send a fake text, saying that there is a problem with one of your accounts, usually a bank or mobile phone account. The text urges you to call the number included, to sort out the problem as soon as possible.
If you respond to the message, the scammer may attempt to gain further information from you, which could be used to access your accounts, or even steal from you.
The best way to avoid this scam is not engaging suspicious messages, according to Margo Gilman, Consumer Reports money editor.
Nick Kirmse – CTVNews.ca – MAY 5, 2018.