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Cybercrime losses amount to $17.8M for thousands of victims, OPP say

Phishing — an email or text message that appears to be from a legitimate person or organization but contains malicious links or attachments — accounts for the majority of reported cyber security incidents 
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The Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) is again joining forces with law enforcement, government and other public safety partners to recognize Cyber Security Awareness Month and highlight the advancing threat posed by cybercriminals.

Cybercrime occurs when technology is used to carry out criminal offences or when technology is the target of the criminal offence.

To the end of September 2020, the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre received more than 6,000 complaints of 'cyberfraud' via email, internet or social media platforms from Ontario and identified 3,659 victims who sustained combined losses of $17.84 million.

Phishing – an email or text message that appears to be from a legitimate person or organization but contains malicious links or attachments – accounts for a majority of all reported cyber security incidents. 

In our technologically-driven world, cyber security must continue to be a top priority for all internet users. Cyber security and cyber hygiene become even more important when working with personal and confidential information.

Cybercriminals have multiple motivators for doing what they do, and their criminal benefits can vary from financial or political gain to raising awareness for a cause or ideology or even causing damage through acts of anarchy. Their interests may serve themselves or a larger group in which they have a vested interest. The OPP, along with other police services and cyber security experts from across the country, want to safeguard all Ontarians from becoming victims of cybercrime.

This year, the OPP 2020 Cyber Security Awareness Month campaign has focussed on five primary themes:
    1.    Cyber Security
    2.    "Why Me?" Why Cyber-Thieves Want your Info
    3.    How Attacks Work: Cybercrime Anatomy 101
    4.    Thwarting Cybercriminals: How to Recognize and Respond to Threats
    5.    Safety Practices for all Devices

The more we know about what motivates cybercriminals and how cybercrime works, the better we can protect ourselves and our devices from cyberattacks. For helpful tips and links, follow the OPP on Twitter (@OPP_News), Facebook and Instagram and use the hashtag #CyberAware.

If you or someone you know suspects they have been a victim of digital or online cybercrime, contact your local police service or local OPP detachment, the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.

"Everyone has a role to play to deter the increasing risk of cybercrime victimization within Ontario and around the world. The OPP, with our police and public safety partners, continue to collaborate with our communities to manage risks, recognize threats and minimize harm in our communities." - Thomas Carrique, OPP commissioner

Learn more
    •    Get Cyber Safe is a national, multi-jurisdiction, public awareness campaign created to educate Canadians about Internet security and the simple steps they can take to protect themselves online. Visit here
    •    Cyber Security Awareness Month toolkit (courtesy of Public Safety Canada)
    •    Cyber Security Risks (courtesy of Public Safety Canada)