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Waterloo Regional Police launch cybercrime awareness campaign

Police have launched a cybercrime awareness campaign in efforts to educate the public on cybercrime trends in Waterloo Region.

Throughout the campaign, the Waterloo Regional Police Service will highlight several topics and share prevention tips to help keep community members informed and safe. 

Cybercrime can take on several different forms, including online identity theft, financial fraud, stalking, email spoofing, information piracy and forgery, internet child exploitation, and ransomware, police said in a release.

Internet Child Exploitation

The internet creates opportunities for child predators to access images or use gaming or online chats to lure children. Parents are encouraged to have ongoing conversations with their children and implement guidelines with respects to the internet. Parents and caregivers are encouraged to:

  • Know your children’s online activities.
  • Know who your children are speaking with and what images they are sharing on the internet.
  • Be sure your children use privacy settings on all social media platforms.
  • Install age-appropriate filters.
  • Set time limits.
  • Pick a designated room in the house, such as a living room or kitchen, where the child can be monitored while they are online.
  • Be aware of different streaming applications, including the ability to provide location and the risks that they pose to your child.

Password and Privacy

To avoid cyber attackers from stealing or guessing passwords, please follow these safety tips:

  • Use passphrases instead of simple passwords, as a string of words is stronger than simple passwords. Avoid things such as your pet or children’s names.
  • Install software updates.
  • Use multi-factor authentication to unlock your device or accounts – there are hardware or software based authentication tools.
  • Secure your social media and email accounts by applying all security and privacy settings.
  • Consider an off-line password security manager to generate and store your passwords.

Ransomware

Ransomware is malicious software that infects your computer and displays messages demanding a fee to be paid in order for your system to work again. A common form of payment is through cryptocurrency (i.e. Bitcoin).

  • The best way for businesses and/or individuals to protect themselves is to use good cybersecurity measures. This may include:
  • Ensure operating systems have up-to-date anti-virus and malware protection.
  • Back up data and store it off-line or in a cloud.
  • Contact police. Every report reduces a cyber-criminal’s ability to trick people and companies with their ransomware.

Click here for additional resources.

SEPTEMBER 23

8:43 AM | Waterloo Regional Police received a report of a theft of marijuana plants from a Forrest Avenue residence in New Hamburg. The theft is believed to have occurred sometime overnight. The suspect has been described as male, approximately 6 feet tall, with a slim build. The male was last seen wearing black track pants, black running shoes and a grey hoody. Anyone with information is asked to call police at 519-570-9777 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

SEPTEMBER 26

1:18 PM | Waterloo Regional Police received a report of a collision involving three vehicles on Arthur Street South in Woolwich Township. A vehicle was being driven in a parking lot, when the driver accidentally hit the accelerator, causing the vehicle to strike a fence and another vehicle in the lot. The fence then fell on a third vehicle. There were no reported physical injuries, and no charges were laid as the collision occurred on private property. 

2:30 PM | Police were called to a single-vehicle collision involving an ATV at a location on Huron Road in Wilmot Township. The operator of the ATV was transported to an out-of-region hospital with serious injuries. A passenger was transported to a local hospital. The collision occurred on private property.

2:35 PM | Emergency services responded to the scene of a single-vehicle collision on Road 116 in Wellesley Township. The vehicle was travelling south on Road 116 when the vehicle left the roadway and rolled into a farm field, coming to a rest on its roof. Two adult occupants were transported to an out-of-region hospital with serious injuries. The roadway was closed until 8 p.m. while members of Waterloo Regional Police Service’s Traffic Unit and the Ontario Provincial Police investigated. The investigation is ongoing, and charges are pending. Anyone with information is encouraged to call police at 519-570-9777 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

SEPTEMBER 28

1:15 PM | Emergency services responded to the scene of a collision  on Arthur Street south of Elmira at the CN Rail crossing. A school bus had stopped at the railway tracks following safety protocol, with four-way flashing lights activated. A transport truck and SUV were stopped behind the school bus. A short time later, another transport truck travelling north collided into the rear of the SUV, causing it to collide with the transport truck ahead. The SUV left the roadway as a result of the collision and came to rest in a ditch. The driver and passenger of the SUV suffered non-life-threatening injuries and were transported to hospital. The driver of the transport truck that caused the collision, a 47-year-old male, was charged with ‘careless driving causing bodily harm.’ The school bus was not involved in the collision. Speed and alcohol were not considered factors in the collision. Arthur Street South northbound lanes were closed for several hours while Waterloo Regional Police Service’s Traffic Unit investigated.

1:30 PM | Wellington County OPP responded to a single-vehicle on Wellington Road 21 involving a pick-up truck that was being operated in a dangerous manner prior to the collision. A westbound pick-up truck with two occupants was weaving in and out of traffic at a high rate of speed and forcing other vehicles to take evasive action to avoid a collision. The investigation revealed that following the collision, a taxi driver with a fare onboard stopped to render assistance to the occupants and as a result they attempted to steal the cab and assaulted the customer that was inside. Further investigation revealed that the pick-up was stolen from Kincardine and the same suspect was involved in fuel thefts in the County. A 25-year-old Kincardine man was charged with two counts of ‘theft under $5,000,’ ‘operation while prohibited,’ ‘possession of property obtained by a crime over $5,000’ and ‘fail to comply with probation order.’ A 27-year-old Kincardine man was charged with ‘theft over $5,000,’ ‘dangerous operation,’ ‘possession of property obtained by a crime over $5,000’ and ‘assault.’ Both accused will appear at the Ontario Court of Justice – Guelph at a future date to answer to the charges.

SEPTEMBER 29

2:10 AM | Waterloo Regional Police responded to Bridge Street and Ebycrest Road in Woolwich Township for a single-vehicle collision. The driver of a black Kia Rio hydroplaned after striking a puddle. The vehicle left the roadway, and struck a pole before landing in the ditch. No one was injured, but the driver was charged with ‘careless driving.’

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