March 7, 2011, Halifax Regional Municipality (HRM) . . . Royal Canadian Mounted Police and Halifax Regional Police would like to make the public aware of "phishing and vishing".
Partners in Policing are reminding the public to be aware of these fraudulent schemes. These methods fall under the category of fraud, and they are ways criminals will use to steal personal information and/or cash from unsuspecting victims.
Phishing is an on-line scam that is typically associated with an e-mail. A fraudulent person or business will attempt to solicit money or sensitive personal and financial information. The e-mail may promise rewards. If you get this type of e-mail, simply delete it. Another phishing scam involves e-mail messages that appear to be from a legitimate organization like a bank or government agency. The e-mail attempts to solicit sensitive and personal information, and in the wrong hands, could be used to access your bank accounts or set up credit cards in your name. If the e-mail is a scam, clicking onto a link may take you to a website designed to look real, but in reality is simply another layer in an elaborate ruse. If in doubt, contact the organization directly from an already secure and known number.
Vishing is a telephone-based scam. Criminals will typically use computer lines to randomly dial numbers in order to cast as large a net as possible. The call is usually an automated message saying your credit card or banking information has been compromised, or something to that effect. People who receive the message are given a number to call in order to get more information about the situation or talk to a person. Anyone who calls the number is then asked to provide personal financial information like credit card numbers, bank account numbers or even passwords or personal identification numbers.
HRM Partners in Policing want to help protect you against these crimes. One of the best ways to protect against fraud is to learn how to recognize it!
March is Fraud Awareness Month.