March is Fraud Prevention Month and Crime Stoppers is teaming up with SaskTel to share tips on how to protect yourself from online fraud and other cyber scams.
“We take safety and security very seriously at SaskTel, and we regularly update our systems and networks to safeguard our business and customers,” said Doug Burnett, SaskTel President and CEO. “As a service provider we’re only one part of the equation and it’s just as important for our customers to take the appropriate steps to protect the personal information and accounts they have online from potential fraudsters.”
"At Crime Stoppers, we recognize the negative impact that all types of criminal activity have on our province, especially online fraud and other digital scams,” said Michael Stevens, President of Saskatoon Crime Stoppers. “We are pleased to team up with SaskTel to spread this important message and ensure that everyone in our province understands the simple steps they can take to secure their online accounts and prevent themselves from being victimized by online fraudsters."
5 Tips to Prevent Online Fraud
✓ Turn On Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) – By requiring the user to provide two or more verification factors, MFA provides an extra layer of protection that makes it significantly more difficult for fraudsters to gain access to your online accounts.
✓ Password Protection – Use a strong and unique password for each online account. Passwords should be at least 12 characters in length and include numbers, upper and lowercase letters, and special characters. For added protection, consider using a passphrase or a random password generator. Also, never share your passwords with anyone.
✓ Beware of Suspicious Emails and Text Messages – Don’t click on links or download attachments from suspicious or unfamiliar senders as they may contain malware or viruses.
✓ Don’t Share Personal Information Online – Sharing too much information on social media or online can help fraudsters and other cyber criminals take advantage of you. Your upcoming vacation, the name of your pet, and even your birthday are pieces of information that are best kept to yourself.
✓ Update Your Devices – Keep your device software up-to-date and install critical security patches as soon as they are available. Failing to do so can give hackers the opening they need to access your device and the all the personal information stored on it.
“If you believe you have fallen victim to an online scam or phone scam and you have suffered any kind of financial loss or provided detailed personal information you should report this to police in your jurisdiction,” said Detective Sergeant Kelley Berting with the Regina Police Service. “You should also notify your financial institution, Equifax and TransUnion to ensure that fraud alerts are placed on your accounts. Monitor your bank accounts and credit card statements on a regular basis and report any suspicious activity to your financial institution immediately.”
All types of fraud can also be reported to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre (CAFC) by calling 1-888-495-8501. Additionally, the CAFC has information regarding the types of scams that are prevalent in Canada available on their website at www.antifraudcentrecentreantifraude.ca.
Saskatchewan Crime Stoppers is a non-profit community program that combines the efforts of the public, media, and police to solve crime in our communities. To anonymously submit a tip about a cyber fraud or any crime in your community please contact Saskatchewan Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477). If you feel you may be a victim, you need to speak directly to police.