It has become the crime of choice for many criminals – it is relatively easy and it happens because we don’t pay attention – identity theft..

By Pepper Parr

BURLINGTON, ON  June 29, 2012  Halton Regional Police have laid a total of 140 charges related to fraud and identity theft

Early in March 2012, the Regional Fraud Unit began an investigation that focused on a large amount of identity theft and account takeovers within the Halton and Toronto area.

Thieves see identity theft as easy - they see your identity as money in their pockets. Protect yourself.

The targeted group would commit identity thefts and attend financial institutions and get access a victims bank using identity they had stolen and then removing funds from an account.

The project culminated on June 27th with the arrest of three individuals and residential search warrants executed in both Milton and Toronto.  Police recovered an assortment of identity documents, false identifications, credit cards, computers, instruments of forgery and cash.

Police are in the process of contacting the victims of these identity thefts and the investigation is ongoing as police anticipate laying additional charges.

Charged are Christopher Corey DEWSBURY (31) and Camille DEWSBURY (30) of Milton and Shelley Marie BOIS (53) of Toronto.

The trio face over 140 criminal code charges relating to Fraud, Possession of Counterfeit Mark,  Possession of Identity Information and Conspiracy to Commit an Indictable Offence.  All are scheduled to appear in Milton Court on the 24th of July, 2012.

Anyone with information concerning this or any other crime is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1 800 222-TIPS(8477), through the web at www.haltoncrimestoppers.com or by texting “Tip201” with your message to 274637(crimes).

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Police identify and arrest three identity theft thieves.

By Staff

BURLINGTON, ON  May 31, 2012  The Fraud unit of the Halton Regional Police is keeping very busy – they recently arrested three people who have been stealing identities and using those identities to purchase high value items at big box stores in a stretch of Ontario that runs from Mississauga to Brantford.

Detective Brad Murray, Regional Fraud Unit, who was involved in the arrest of a group that were skimming data from Automatic Teller Machines a number of months ago has put his experience with identity fraud to this most recent case.

The investigation into his most recent challenge began back in April and culminated on May 23rd with the arrest of three individuals and a search warrant on their residence.  Police recovered an assortment of gift cards, $8000.00 in US and Canadian currency along with $20,000.00 in jewellery.

Also located in the home were over 27 different identities and a taser/stun gun. Police are in the process of contacting the victims of the identity thefts and the investigation is still ongoing as investigators anticipate laying additional charges.

Charges are Craig Alanzo McIntosh (37), Kevin Oneil McIntosh (35) and Jennifer Halyk (32) all of Mississauga. The trio face over 95 criminal code charges relating to Fraud, Possession of Property Obtained by Crime and Possession of Identity Information.  All are scheduled to appear in Milton Court on the 19th of June, 2012.

 

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They are persistent and once they get their hooks into you – it`s like trying to get a fish hook out of your finger: messy and painful.

By Pepper Parr

BURLINGTON, ON  April 27, 2012  One of the things about crooks and thieves is that when they come across a good idea that pulls in all kinds of suckers, they use it over and over and over.  They will quit only when people stop responding to the scam.

With cyber-crime there is little risk – the people doing much of this cyber identity theft are on the other side of the world and while international level police forces are getting better at pursuing and catching them – it is going to be a long time before we see any arrests.  One defence is software we can use to filter them out – but the best defence is checking everything that comes to your screen.

My wife goes over the tape the supermarket cashier gives her – it would never occur to me to look at the take; it`s all bar coded isn’t it – so where could anything go wrong.  Well bar codes aren’t perfect.

The face you think you see - the email address you think you see - may not be coming from the people you think it is coming from. Watch carefully every time.

Earlier this week we alerted you to a scam we came across  – turns out that this good idea has been taken up by others and now Amazon and Twitter are being exploited.

We got the following related to our Twitter account:

Our system detected unusual activity associated with your account.
Your account may be temporarily suspended for violations of the Twitter Rules.
We suspend accounts for investigation if we suspect an account has been hacked or compromised.

You need to confirm your email address to regain access to your account.
Once you regain access, you will be able to request a new password for your Twitter account.

You can find information on following automations and permitted following behaviors on the help page:
https://support.twitter.com/

The email address this message came from was

Twitter <c-nfxzlxr=znvy-ba.hf-ae0dc@postmaster.twitler.com

Take a careful look at that address – notice they have spelled Twitter as twitler – and that my friends is not the same.

Also the use of English is awkward and that is always a tell tale sign.

We have a Twitter account – we don`t use it very much – so undue activity was the first clue,  but had we been using the Twitter account heavily we just may have responded.  With the cyber crooks out there ready to do anything they can to steal your identity, you do need to be vigilant.

The same day we got a notice about our Amazon account.  We have in the past bought items from Amazon but recently we have supported the local bookstore – A Different Drummer – so we know the Amazon notice was a fake as well.  Here is what we got from them:

We received a request to reset the password associated with this e-mail address. Please follow the instructions below.

Click the link below to complete or cancel request using our secure server:

https://www.amazon.com/ap/forgotpassword?arb=84a424dc-5467-b5de-c0a4-8e65672465a4

If clicking the link doesn’t seem to work, you can copy and paste the link into your browser’s address window, or retype it there.

Amazon.com will never e-mail you and ask you to disclose or verify your Amazon.com password, credit card, or banking account number. Thanks for visiting Amazon.com!

Sounds pretty legitimate.  But take a careful look at the way amazon is spelled in the domain name part of the email address they used.

See the double m.

Amazon.com account-update@amazomm.com

I don’t think that is Amazon trying to tell me something.  I think those guys are crooks trying to get information from me.

What do you think?

 

 

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Be very, very careful about this one. Major attempt at identity theft via a Facebook message

By Pepper Parr

BURLINGTON, ON    April 25, 2012  The email message started out nicely enough. Hello, it said.  And it was from The Facebook Team.  Given that I`m a Facebook user – I read the message.

Here`s what it said:

The Facebook account associated with pepper@mcsops.com was recently changed.

If you were not the one who changed this account, please visit our Help Center to cancel the request.

Please note: for your protection, this email has been sent to all the email addresses associated with your Facebook account.

https://www.facebook.com/

Thanks,

The Facebook Team

Cyber thieves can collect bits and pieces of information about you and create an online identity that says it's you but isn't you - and they can do a lot of damage. Be vigilant.

Hmm, I wondered – I didn’t change my Facebook password.  Then I looked at who the email actually came from.  Pay close attention to the line that follows.

notification+pepper@facebookmeil.com

That is who supposedly sent me the message.  Check the spelling  – notice it says facebookmeil.com

The message didn’t come from Facebook at all – it came from somebody who got their hands on a list of email addresses and sent the same email to millions of people.  Those that responded will have been pulled into a process that begins gathering information on them – and when they get enough they can begin to impersonate you.  Imagine if someone got into your Facebook page and started rummaging around there.

If you get the message – ignore it.  And pass this story along to every friend you have.

These crooks are going to do a lot of damage with this identity theft attempt.

 

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