Con artists sometimes try to impersonate legitimate companies to gain valuable information from unsuspecting victims. Here’s how you can protect yourself.
Phishing is a scam conducted by sending out fraudulent emails in an attempt to gather private personal information or to steal identities. This is also known as “brand spoofing” because the false emails are created to resemble communications from real companies and websites.
The term phishing comes from the fact that because these emails look like messages from known sources, they tempt the receiver to “bite.” Scam artists will send millions of emails out to random addresses knowing that some will reach targets who are actually clients of the company that they are spoofing. Unfortunately they also know that some of those unsuspecting clients will take the bait.
Recently, many major companies have been spoofed in this type of fraud. Favourites of these online scammers include banks and credit card companies but they also sometimes try career websites like Workopolis.
The fraudulent emails usually attempt to falsely gain such information as account passwords or credit card numbers. Sometimes they may even entice users to install software on their personal computers.
There is currently an email from a company purportedly in the UK which is looking for ‘employee’ bank accounts to move money around. This is a fraudulent email, not from a legitimate Workopolis client. Do not reply to this email or interact with this company. If you receive this or any other suspicious email claiming to come from Workopolis, please report it to us right away.
Keep in mind that it is relatively easy for someone to change the display of the “from” name or email address information in an email message. Therefore do not assume that an email is legitimate just because the message appears to be from a company you trust.
How to protect yourself:
- Use antivirus software and keep it up-to-date.
- Don’t send personal or financial information by email.
- If you receive an email or pop-up message that asks you for sensitive or financial information, do not reply. Don’t click on any hyperlinks in such messages.
- Watch out for misspelled words in emails supposedly from major companies.
- Always be careful when opening attachments or downloading files from websites and emails.
For more information, please visit the website that the RCMP has prepared for your protection.