IDENTITY THEFT: How they steal your private data and then lurk you into giving them even more

By Pepper Parr

February 24th, 2023



In the world of Identity theft and phishing there is a cycle.

The public learns that an organization has been hacked and a lot of data stolen. Yahoo got hacked, a large Ontario based insurance company got hacked. One of the hospitals got hacked.

The data that was stolen gets sold on what is called the “dark side” of the internet. There is a brisk trade in the information that was stolen.

The buyers of the information pay nickels or dimes – but when you are buying 1 couple of million names – it adds up. The people selling the information will sell it to anyone who pays.

The people who buy the information then use it to communicate with you and try to convince you to give them the kind of information they need to get into your bank account or convince you to send them money.

We are now seeing numerous emails telling us that there is an offer we won’t want to refuse; a notice that there is an account balance that is due, shipping instructions. They get quite creative.

Here are several of the messages we got. You might be getting them as well.

This is the address the email came from:

Costco <

Clearly not a Costco email address



Another example

Tim Hortons has a massive audience – it is a trusted brand and people have seen offers from the brand before.  Remember Roll Up the Rim.

Another example:

This one was supposed to have been sent by WaImart>

The scammers have bought your email address and using the names of brands that you know and tend to trust are using to pull you im

You need to pay attention – look very closely at the address the email came from. If you don’t recognize it – don’t click on it.

If you are suspicious – respect your sense of being suspicious – you are probably tight.


Return to the Front page
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

2 comments to IDENTITY THEFT: How they steal your private data and then lurk you into giving them even more

  • Penny Hersh

    Scammers are not only using emails. They are now leaving text messages on your mobile phone. Of course the land line telephone is a great tool for them. Many seniors do not own cell phones and can be easily duped into believing what they are being told when answering a call (Grandparent Scam).

    I have received phone calls ( on my land line) from “the sheriff” ( guess no one told them Canada doesn’t have sheriffs) telling me that I am going to jail if I don’t contact them.

    I have received phone calls ( on my land line) telling me that I need to call RBC concerning my account. Don’t have an account with RBC. Or I have a refund coming to me and I need to contact them (from where who knows). How about the delivery service that needs to verify my account or “your computer is not fully protected”. Just ignore and delete.

    Most recently ” Daniel from Amazon wants me to verify a purchase”. Didn’t realize he knew me personally.

    They go on and on.

    Remember the annoying calls at dinnertime from people wanting to clean your air ducts. Many of us complained and had our telephone numbers removed from their system. Oh if we only knew what was coming on the horizon.

    My solution is to ignore anything and everything that comes in the form of an email, text or phone call even if I happen to use the bank, delivery service or online shopping companies that are mentioned.

    If I feel it is relevant I call directly to check out if they really were contacting me. 100% of the time it is a scam.

  • Find these emails really, really annoying and delete, delete, delete. Unfortunately there are those who are harmed by them, there must be or they would not be coming as often as they are. Thanks for the alert!