RCMP issues warning about Internet scams

Staff writer
September 25, 2013 01:00 AM

Sunshine Coast RCMP is warning the public to be wary of two Internet phishing scams that have been reported recently.

On Sept. 14 and 16, RCMP were informed of two separate internet scams from two Gibsons residents.

On Sept. 14 a resident received an email purportedly from HSBC Bank stating "they had been mandated to release their long overdue accrued payment through an ATM card."

The email continued to state "the payment will be made through your choice card such as American express, Visa, Master Card etc. which will program your payment upon your confirmation details."

The email then stated that a female, "Mrs. Harley, had sent HSBC Bank an email claiming the complainant was dead and she is authorized to claim the ATM card as the complainant's beneficiary." The email then asks for a confirmation email to be sent to a provided email address with the complainant's full name, residential address, country, telephone, age, sex and occupation listed.

On Sept. 16 a different complainant received an email from advising, "his Amazon account had been limited, that their system detected unusual charges to a credit card linked to their Amazon account." The complainant was informed, "this is the last reminder to log in to Amazon." He was informed that, "once he logs in he will be provided with steps to restore his account access."

An Internet link was provided with instructions to click on the link to activate the account. Of interest in this email is the incorrect spelling of Amazon.

According to the RCMP, both these emails are called Phishing Scams.

"These scams are all about tricking people into handing over their personal and banking details to scammers," said Sgt. Russ Howard in a news release. "Phishing emails might look and sound legitimate, but in reality genuine organizations like a bank or government authority will never expect you to send your personal information by an email or on-line. "Scammers can easily copy the logo or even the entire website of a genuine organization. Don't assume an email received is legitimate. If the email is asking you to visit a website to "update", "validate" or "confirm" your account information, be skeptical. Delete phishing emails. They can carry viruses that can infect your computer. Do not open any attachments or follow any links in phishing emails."

The Competition Bureau of Canada has produced a publication titled, The Little Black Book Of Scams. This publication is a guide for protection against fraud and available on-line at www.competitionbureau.gc.ca.

- Submitted by SC RCMP

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