In January, 2013, the Law Times reported that a bookkeeper at a law firm in Ontario was tricked into giving fraudsters access to trust accounts, resulting in “a large six-figure” amount being stolen. The bookkeeper received an email, clicked on a link, and downloaded a virus to her computer that gave the fraudsters the information they needed. This type of hack is commonly called ‘phishing’.
This week, the Globe and Mail reported that, last December, 37% of the 5,000 employees at the federal Justice department fell for a phishing scam test initiated by the department’s internal computer security group.
According to that article, phishing accounts for the illegal capture of “80,000 credit-card numbers, bank accounts, passwords and other confidential information every day”, and that “one million Canadians have entered personal banking details on a site they don’t know”.
TIPS to protect against phishing:
1) Be suspicious of any email or text message containing urgent requests for personal or financial information – financial institutions and credit card companies normally will not use email to confirm an existing client’s information.
2) Check the website’s address line to verify if it displays something different from the address mentioned in the email.