Scammers tell people their devices have been hacked, Mississauga and Brampton residents warned

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Published April 3, 2023 at 12:59 pm

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(Photo: Jefferson Santos)

Fraudsters are contacting people in Mississauga, Brampton and across the country in a scam that tells would-be victims their various devices have been hacked and that their data will be made public unless they pay money.

Peel Regional Police are warning residents to this latest fraud, through which people receive an email claiming that someone has purchased their email account from “hackers.”

The email then tells would-be targets that the now-supposed holder of their account information has installed software “to control all devices connected to your computer,” police say.

On their Twitter post, Peel police then warn people that, “This is a scam to get people to pay money so they don’t release the data.”

The “hacked devices” scam is the latest to be shared with the public by Peel cops, who’ve been alerting Mississauga and Brampton residents on a regular basis to various frauds.

Police stepped up those efforts in March, which was Canadian Fraud Prevention Month.

Last week, Mississauga and Brampton residents were alerted by Peel police to an income tax scam that seeks to steal their money and sensitive personal information.

Police re-tweeted a social media post from the Competition Bureau of Canada that warns people to be extra careful when submitting their annual income taxes online.

“When filing your income taxes, be extra cautious; fraudsters will clone legitimate government websites to steal your money or sensitive information,” the post from the federal agency reads.

Among other scams police have alerted people to in recent weeks are those focused on cryptocurrencyPonzi schemes and pyramid scams that try to lure people into illegal investment webs that promise quick return on financial investment and a fraud that seeks to trick people out of their money by telling would-be victims over the phone that a loved one is in jail or that they’re being targeted for not paying taxes.

Such “emergency scams” are among a number of popular frauds targeting people these days in Mississauga, Brampton and across Ontario, and Canada, police warn.

According to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre, Canadians lost more than $530 million to fraud in 2022 and much of that could have been prevented if victims were more informed of the tactics used by scammers.

For more information on the various frauds/scams, visit Peel Regional Police or Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre websites.

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