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Spammers, scammers and phishing

The Niagara Regional Police Anti-Fraud unit delivered an informational session to Thorold Seniors

About 35 members of the Thorold Seniors Centre attended a seminar on computer and online fraud Thursday.

Detective Constable Graeme Orr delivered a comprehensive outline of common frauds and scams that circulate via emails and the Internet.

Besides hilighting those schemes, he also offered advice on how to handle them, including proper response and protection software that is available.

Perhaps the most important piece of advice he imparted was to ignore any messages or pleas for help that come from an unrecognized source. He also warned that many of these scams appear to be real so it is wise to double-check by researching the sender using other methods.

If the message comes from a friend or relative, phone them or contact them another way to make sure the message is legitimate. "Never click on the embedded link," he warned. "And never provide personal information to an unrecognized source."

Orr also noted that anyone who has been a victim in the past is more likely to receive more fraudulent requests as scammers often share information through a "suckers' list."

Anyone can contact the NRP fraud unit through their website.

You can also contact the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at this website.