There are people wanting to steal your money

RBC High Prairie and High Prairie RCMP hosted a fraud and cyber fraud seminar Oct. 23. Standing left-right, are RBC High Prairie branch manager Erin Graber, High Prairie RCMP Cpl. Nathan James and RBC High Prairie branch financial manager Christina Cooper.

Richard Froese
South Peace News

Police and banks continue to remind people to protect themselves from fraud and cyber fraud.

RBC High Prairie and RCMP offered plenty of advice during a seminar Oct. 23.

“Protect yourself, your family and friends from fraud,” says Christina Cooper, RBC financial planner.

“It’s becoming more pronounced every day.”

Nearly half of Canadians have been victimized by fraud, she says.

“Credit card fraud, e-mail and social media hacks and debit card fraud lead the way,” Cooper says.

She cautions people about with receiving messages online.

“If you weren’t expecting it, don’t open it,” Cooper says.

High Prairie RCMP S/Sgt. Warren Wright warns people to be aware of risks.

“The best chance you have to avoid being victimized is to immediately terminate the communication and ask the banks and police for help with determining if it is a scam,” Wright says.

“You should always be highly skeptical if anyone contacts you by phone, e-mail, social media or regular mail looking for money and/or personal details that could compromise your identity, credit or money.”

“Once you have already divulged your information or given them money, it is quite often too late for authorities to recover what you’ve surrendered.”

Police also provided information in the RCMP Seniors’ Guidebook to Safety and Security.

In the world of fraud prevention and investigation, the two most-used phrases are “buyer beware” and “you don’t get something for nothing”, the guide states.

Don’t send any amount of money to someone you have never met until you actually receive what you have been promised.

As a consumer, you must recognize both the risk and responsibility involved with each transaction you make.

If you believe you have fallen victim to a scam, call and report the incident to local police.

Cooper provided a list of Top 10 tips for safe computer and online privacy.

  • Protect your personal information.
  • Choose effective passwords.
  • Verify a message before you take any further action.
  • Limit the online information that you make available about yourself.
  • Be cautious about your online activity.
  • Be wary of pop-up windows.
  • Maintain a suite of security software products.
  • Keep your computer healthy.
  • Remember to log off.
  • If it looks too good to be true, it probably is.

Following are 10 tips to safeguard your assets.

  • Keep your personal information safe.
  • Keep personal information confidential.
  • Be aware of billing and statement cycles.
  • Protect your mail. Pick up your mail daily.
  • Protect your PIN and passwords.
  • Limit your risk.
  • Beware of unusual transactions.
  • Review transactions.
  • Limit your exposure.
  • Contact authorities.

Anyone facing risks of fraud is advised to contact local police, their financial institution or financial advisor.

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