Victoria police are warnings people and businesses of the continued rise of a sophisticated cybercrime called spear phishing, after a national alert was issued Tuesday by the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.
Spear phishing is is a targeted email or electronic scam where a fraudster passes themself off as a person with financial decision-making authority. They do so by penetrating an organization or individual’s communications, collecting information and eventually sending emails that appear to be from a trusted source.
By infiltrating a business or individual email account, the fraudster is able to spend as long as they want combing through correspondence, learning the sender’s use of language and looking for important contacts, payments and dates.
Victoria Police Department says officers continue to see spear phishing attacks and attempts in the region. Recently, a fraudster posed as a financial authority and demanded their target make a funds transfer. Luckily, the person noted that the email address used was one letter off from the legitimate email address.
Common warning signs include unsolicited emails, direct contact from a senior official you aren’t normally in contact with, requests for confidentiality, pressure or a sense of urgency, unusual requests and threats or unusual promises of rewards. A full list of common incidents and prevention measures can be found at antifraudcentre.ca.
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