FRAUD WATCH

Check out the latest scams below (updated June 20, 2024)

Check out How to Protect Yourself (updated July 11, 2024)

Check out the many resources in this section (updated January 11, 2024)

Fraud Watch

Welcome to our Fraud Watch page. Here you will find information on fraud and scams, and how to spot them. We provide links to official websites that show the numerous ways online thieves are trying to steal your money and/or identity, and websites that can help you prevent fraud or coach you if you become a victim.

No matter how careful we think we are, scammers try to get the upper hand. They prey on our fears and anxieties with scare tactics that can hinder our better judgment. They try to trick us with email attachments that install malware on our computer, or send us links to fake web pages that steal our usernames and passwords.

Be wary of emails, SMS texts, letters, and phone calls from individuals and companies you don’t know, or messages that are unexpected. Be especially careful with “important” messages using scare tactics. And, don’t believe any offers for making a quick buck; if it seems too good to be true, it usually is!

Have you encountered a scam recently? Send an image or forward the email to FraudAlert@opcug.ca. If we haven’t already posted something similar, we’ll feature it on this page. In order to protect your privacy, we will remove your identifiers.

RESOURCES

How to protect yourself online:
Canadian Centre for Cyber Security
Get Cyber Safe
CIRA Canadian Shield
(free DNS resolver and malware/scam protection)
Consumer Reports Security Planner
(step-by-step instructions for all your devices)

Naked Security by Sophos:
Phishing tricks that really work – and how to avoid them

Better Business Bureau (BBB) Check a company’s rating before hiring

Websites that list newer and older scams in circulation: 
Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre
Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre (COVID-19 fraud)
CIRA Cybersecurity News (vast list of security risks)
Competition Bureau Canada
10 most costly scams for Canadians in 2018 (with advice from the BBB)

What to do if you become a victim of fraud:
Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre
Report a scam or fraud Government of Ontario (includes a good list of scam types)

HOW SAFE ARE YOUR PASSWORDS?

If you allow Google Chrome to save your passwords, you can check them at https://passwords.google.com/ and see if any are compromised, reused, or weak.
See Rules for creating and safeguarding strong passwords (CNET)

Password Managers:
Best for 2024 (commercial, PC Magazine))
Best for 2024 (free, PC Magazine)
9 Best (free and commercial, Wired Magazine)

If any of your passwords are on this list (simple text), you should change them: Top100kUsedPasswords (use Ctrl+F to search the list)

Check if your passwords have been pawned:
https://haveibeenpwned.com/Passwords

Check if your email address has been pawned:
https://haveibeenpwned.com/

SECURE YOUR ROUTER, COMPUTER, and OTHER DEVICES

The Gibson Research Corporation (GRC) This venerable institution has been around for decades. Check if your computer ports are open to attack with their free service: ShieldsUP!
CIRA Canadian Shield
(free DNS resolver and malware/scam protection for all your devices)
Consumer Reports Security Planner
(step-by-step instructions for all your devices)

HOW TO PROTECT YOURSELF

Ticketmaster Breach

If you purchased tickets from Ticketmaster anytime before May 19, 2024, this advice will help protect you (from July 10/'24 Q&A session).

Chrome browser issues

Make sure chromium browsers like Chrome, Edge, Opera and Vivaldi are up to date - or use a non-chromium browser like Firefox (from May 22/'24 Q&A session).

2FA Attacks

How to prevent scammers from phishing 2FA codes (from May 22/'24 Q&A session)

Sophos Intercept X
for Android

Can it be trusted with required permissions? (from May 15/'24 Q&A session)

Fraud 101: Beware of Scammers

January 2024 OPCUG presentation by Cst. Sébastien Lemay of the Ottawa Police Service (PDF, audio)

Digital Best Practices

Let Consumer Reports show you how to be safe on all your devices (from April 5/'23 Q&A session).

Non-technical Safeguards

by Chris Taylor (OPCUG)
Guard yourself against email, phone, and password fraud, and more!

BEWARE THE POWER
OF QR CODES

Malicious QR codes can do many bad things on your device.

Romance Scams

Beware of online Valentinos or Valentinas asking you for money.

QR Code Scam

Beware of fake QR codes at parking meters

MIcrosoft Windows Support Scam

Presented at the January 5, 2022 weekly Q&A session

Omicron Variant Scam

Presented at the January 5, 2022 weekly Q&A session

Security Layers (PDF)

Presented by Tom Trottier (OPCUG) at the December 8, 2021 meeting (PDF, audio)

12 SCAM AVOIDANCE TIPS

by Lawrence Patterson (OPCUG)

Social Engineering Red Flags

Reprinted with permision from KnowBe4

Scam Tracking Overview

Submitted by Lawrence Patterson (OPCUG)

SCAMS: WHAT HAS CHANGED?

A presentation (PDF) by Lawrence Patterson (OPCUG)

EXAMPLES OF SCAMS

PayPal Bitcoin Scam

Scammers trying to steal
your PayPal credentials
(from June 19/'24 Q&A session)

Hydro Ottawa
Refund Scam

From May 15/'24 Q&A session

Reimbursement Scam

Scam offering to reimburse your office expenses

Interac e-Transfer Scam

Beware of money from generous strangers


Undeliverable packages

Watch out for SMS and E-mail scam messages about packages being undeliverable


MAILBOX EXCEEDED

Watch for strange URLs
hiding behind linked text

SMS SCAMS

Beware of text scams


GIFT CARD SCAM

Fake stickers covering
real barcode at back

Grandparent Scam

Caller pretending to be grandchild in trouble and in need of money

Invoice Scams

Don't be fooled by looks

Another Rogers
E-mail Problem

"Upgrade or be deleted"

Smishing Scam

Fake Install Now button installs malware on your phone

"DHL-Express" Delivery Scam

Pay for package "on hold"

"Can you do me a favour" scam

Just "Catching Up!!!". Not really

"SHOPPERS DRUG MART" SCAMS

"We have a surprise"
(it's not a good one)

E-mail scams with attachments

Malicious code in sheep's clothing

"AIR CANADA" SCAM

"Take our survey"

HOROSCOPE SCAM

"Your stunning horoscope at no charge"

NETFLIX BILLING PROBLEM

Cell phone text scam

INHERITANCE SCAM

Snail mail scam
(If it seems too good to be true, it usually is!)

ROGERS E-MAIL PROBLEM

"You will be blocked"

A COVID-19 scam

Looking for Bitcoin donations

Scroll to Top