5 worst scams to hit Mississauga and Brampton in 2021

Published December 26, 2021 at 1:11 pm

Scams have been around forever — telephone scams, email scams — but in the age of instant messaging, text message scams are among the most common and insidious we see today.

We saw a bunch of new scams crop up in 2021, targeting residents across most of Ontario including Mississauga and Brampton.

These are the five scams that caught most people’s attention in the past year:

5. ‘Lost package’ scam

This text scam would claim that an unspecified package being delivered to you had been lost, asking you to click a provided link for more information.

4. Scam text with personal information

A Mississauga resident reported getting a text scam with their name and city in it, alleging they had won an unspecified gift.

While it hasn’t been confirmed how these scammers get ahold of some residents’ information, the likely cause is a massive Facebook leak in April 2021 that led to 533 million Facebook users’ phone numbers and personal data getting posted on a low-level hacking forum.

3. ‘Card is disabled’ scam

This recent scam claims that your debit (or credit) card has been disabled, requiring you to “confirm your information” to recover access to it.

2. Scam text addressing recipient by name

This was among the first scams that started to address recipients by their name, roughly a month after the aforementioned Facebook leak in April.

1. Costco scam

The most attention-grabbing scam this year was a cashback scam related to the popular wholesaler Costco. The chain itself commented on the scam and advised residents to be aware of it.

“There is currently a text scam circulating that asks members to click on a link to claim their Capital One Costco Mastercard Cash Back reward. The text is a scam,” Costco said in May. “Do not answer the text or click on the link as it is not from Costco or Capital One.”

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