Hardly a week goes by at the Trail Times without hearing of another cyber scam, fraud or data breach exposing personal information to hackers and potential identity thieves. This advisory, courtesy the Sidney RCMP, provides comprehensive and tangible ways to protect yourself from scammers, cold-callers, and fraudsters, which police aptly refer to as “invisible predators.”

In today’s age, we depend on computers and smart phones for many daily tasks.

A growing concern across the province and beyond is the prevalence of those who look to take advantage of people through the internet and over the phone.

“As a police officer, I have seen the direct effect that both cybercrime and telephone fraud have on members of our community,” warns Cpl. Andres Sanchez of the Sidney/North Saanich RCMP.

“The best way to keep yourself from falling victim to these fraudsters is to become educated on some of the tactics which are being used.”

In 2020, the Anti-Fraud Centre of Canada recorded 42,185 victims, equating to roughly $106M scammed from Canadians. In 2021, this number is expected to be higher.

“The tactics used by fraudsters come in many forms and can sound very convincing to those they prey upon. Fraudsters may contact you through your email, text messages, social media, or through telephone calls,” Flores explains.

“In some common scenarios we are seeing, the fraudster will use intimidation such as pretending to be an authority figure from the Canada…

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