submitted by Alberta RCMP
With the holiday season coming up, and Black Friday and Cyber Monday occurring in November, many people will be starting their shopping this month. Alberta RCMP would like to remind Albertans to practice cyber safety while shopping online.
In Alberta RCMP jurisdiction in 2020, there were 49 reports of unauthorized use of credit card data and of these, 0 were reported in November, three were reported in December, and 4 were reported in January 2021. Many times reports of unauthorized use of credit card data occur later as many people don’t realize they’ve been the victim of fraud until the next billing cycle.
Stats (Alberta RCMP jurisdiction):
- In all of 2020, there were 1,172 reports of Fraud (money/property/security) greater than $5,000
- In all of 2020, there were 5,533 reports of Fraud (money/property/security) less than or equal to $5,000
- In November and December 2020, there were 193 reports of Fraud (money/property/security) greater than $5,000
- In November and December 2020, there were 816 reports of Fraud (money/property/security) less than or equal to $5,000
Here are some tips to protect yourself while shopping online:
- Don’t reuse passwords, change them often, and be sure to use a combination of letters, numbers and special characters to create a strong one!
- Many websites, especially social media platforms, offer the option of multi-factor authentication. Multi-factor authentication makes it more difficult for criminals to access your accounts by needing more than one piece of identifying information.
- Review privacy settings regularly in order to control who can see what personal information is posted to your profile.
- Buy from reputable sources and don’t let unbeatable prices cloud your judgement.
- Avoid conducting financial transactions via public Wi-Fi.
- Install updates on your devices as soon as you’re prompted. Updates fix security issues.
- Phishing is a commonly used tactic for cybercrime. Phishing messages ask you to validate information by clicking links and may threaten you with legal action. Verify legitimacy by calling the company directly.
Follow our social media accounts on Twitter @RCMPAlberta and Facebook @RCMPinAlberta, and check out #CyberSafety online for more tips.
RCMP encourages the public to report any criminal or suspicious activity to police. Reports tell us where to look, who to look for, and where to patrol in the future. If you see a crime in progress, dial 911. If you wish to remain anonymous, contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS), online at www.P3Tips.com or by using the “P3 Tips” app available through the Apple App or Google Play Store.