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Canadians not always adept at spotting scams

Canadians may overestimate their ability to spot phishing scams and other aspects of Fraud, according to a survey carried out by the  Canadian Bankers Association (CBA).

Email phishing scams continue to be the most common form of attack in the cyber threat landscape, the report finds. Digital fraudsters show no signs of slowing down their phishing activity in 2020 as cyber attacks proliferate amid the widespread shift to work-from-home, and as Canadians spend more time and money online because of the coronavirus pandemic.

While the majority (82 per cent) of respondents are confident in their ability to detect a phishing attempt, only 31 per cent were able to correctly identify all the red flags of a phishing scam.

More than half (57 per cent) of the survey sample incorrectly thinks phishing emails are easy to spot due to spelling errors, indicating a general lack of understanding of the increasing sophistication of phishing attacks.

According to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre, Canadians have lost more than $40 million to online scams so far in 2020 and phishing continues to be used in the majority of cases. 

There is better news when it comes to understanding the importance of using strong, unique passwords to protect internet-enabled devices and sensitive online accounts:

More than 80 per cent of respondents know they should not share their passwords or PINs with anyone, including their spouse or family members.

Despite a growing recognition of the importance of unique passwords, a large number (63 per cent) of respondents could not identify all examples of weak passwords, suggesting a need to learn more about what constitutes a strong password. Another vulnerability is effective password management – more than 80 per cent of users are unable to remember each password, saying this is the biggest barrier to maintaining unique passwords.

The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre handles the reports on fraud and identity theft. If you suspect you may be a target of a phishing scam, or if you have received a phishing attempt, you can report it to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre through their Fraud Reporting System, or by calling 1-888-495-8501.

NOVEMBER 17

5:20 PM | Emergency services responded to a collision involving two vehicles at Church Street and Floradale Road west of Elmira. A red pickup truck was travelling east when the driver lost control due to poor road conditions, crossed the center line and struck a white SUV that was travelling west. The driver of the SUV, a 23-year-old Wellesley township woman, was transported to hospital with a leg injury. The driver of the pickup truck, a 38-year-old Drayton man, was not injured. Church Street West was closed for several hours while members of Waterloo Regional Police Service’s Traffic Unit investigated, and a road maintenance vehicle treated the roadway.

NOVEMBER 19

6:00 AM | The Special Investigations Unit has invoked its mandate after a three-vehicle collision on Perth Line 40, between Road 108 and Road 109, in the Township of Perth East. Perth County OPP received a call after a citizen located a suspicious person in a vehicle at their residential farm property Police responded and during the interaction with police, a collision occurred involving two unoccupied fully-marked OPP cruisers and an SUV. The lone occupant of the SUV was taken to a local hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. The OPP notified the province’s Special Investigations Unit (SIU), which is now investigating.

7:10 PM | Emergency services responded to the area of Woolwich Guelph Townline and Highway 7 for reports of a pedestrian struck by a train. A woman in her thirties was transported to an out-of-region hospital with serious injuries. Train services were delayed for approximately four hours while members of Waterloo Regional Police Service and CN Rail Police investigated. Anyone who may have witnessed the incident, or has information, is encouraged to contact police at 519-570-9777.

NOVEMBER 21

7:30 PM | A Wellington County OPP officer was monitoring traffic and conducting radar on Wellington Road 7 near the Fourth Line in the Township of Centre Wellington when they observed a silver vehicle travelling northbound at a speed that appeared to be well above the posted 80 km/h speed limit. The vehicle was locked on radar in excess of 135 km/h. As a result, a 42-year-old of Fergus man was charged with ‘Racing a Motor Vehicle.’ The defendant is scheduled to appear in Guelph at the Ontario Court of Justice – Provincial Offences Court on May 5, 2021. His vehicle and driver’s licence were seized for a period of seven days as per statute.

NOVEMBER 22

12:41 PM | Waterloo Regional Police received a report of a collision on Weimar Line in Wellesley Township. A vehicle was travelling north on Weimar Line when the driver lost control, causing the vehicle to slide into an unoccupied parked vehicle on the side of the road. There were no physical injuries reported. As a result of the investigation, a 52-year-old Kitchener man was charged with ‘careless driving.’

4:06 PM | Waterloo Regional Police received a report of a single-vehicle collision on Chilligo Road in Woolwich Township. A vehicle was travelling south on Chilligo Road when the driver lost control, causing the vehicle to slide approximately five metres to the right of the roadway and struck a fence, sustaining  significant damage. There were no injuries. No charges were laid.

5:18 PM | A single-vehicle collision brought police to New Jerusalem Road in Woolwich Township. A pickup truck was travelling south on New Jerusalem when the driver lost control, causing the vehicle to roll over into the opposite ditch. There were no reported injuries. Road conditions due to the weather are considered a factor in the collision.  

5:30 PM | Police received a report of a single-vehicle collision on William Hastings Line in Wellesley Township. A vehicle was travelling north when the driver lost control due to poor road conditions and slid into a ditch on the passenger side. There were no reported injuries.

9:45 PM | Waterloo Regional Police responded to a report of a break-in at a business located on Weber Street North in Woolwich Township. A fenced area was entered after the suspects cut the fence and stole property. The investigation is ongoing. Anyone with information is encouraged to call police at 519-570-9777 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.  

NOVEMBER 23

1:50 PM | Waterloo Regional Police received a report of a hunter shooting at ducks near a trail along the Grand River in Winterbourne. Police attended the area but the individual had left. Anyone who was in the area at the time and has information is encouraged to call police at 519-570-9777.

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