The OPP says criminals use phishing nets to steal your personal information and your identity . That’s “phishing” with a “ph”. Phishing is any e-mail falsely claiming to be from an established, legitimate organization such as a financial institution, business or government agency. The e-mail may direct the consumer to visit a certain website to update or provide personal or financial information and passwords. It is really a malicious attempt to collect customer information for the purpose of committing identity theft and fraud.
In 2015, phishing scams were used by criminals to commit identity theft and other crimes 1,702 times, according to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre. During that period, 510 Ontario victims – often seniors – were swindled out of more than $93,000. If you or someone you know suspect they’ve been a victim of phishing, contact your local police service. You can also file a complaint through the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre or toll-free by telephone at 1-888-495-8501.