A Penticton church recently had an unstated sum of money stolen after their email was hacked into.
Penticton RCMP are investigating the fraud but are also warning the public to take steps to avoid becoming a victim of internet scams.
It was determined by RCMP that the church’s email account was hacked into before money was transferred out.
The church became aware of the intrusion to their email account after receiving a message from their internet service provider notifying of a recent password change.
RCMP later determined that the email address had been used to facilitate an online banking transfer.
RCMP say the investigation is on-going. Local police are also reminding the public to be vigilant while online.
Some tips to stay online that the RCMP recommend include:
- Secure your computer by activating your firewall, using an anti-virus/malware software and blocking spyware attacks.
- Keep your operating system (OS) current with the latest system update.
- Always think before clicking on a link or file of unknown origin. Don’t feel pressured by any emails.
- Be social media savvy by making sure your social networking profiles are set to private.
- Don’t be lured into using payment methods other than the options recommended by the internet auction site.
- Don’t pay by sending cash, money transfers or money orders.
- Change your passwords frequently and never use the same password more than once
For more information on how to protect yourself or others from online scams, visit the RCMP’s seniors guidebook to safety and security.
If one believes they’ve been a victim of an online scam or fraud, they can report it to their local police, or call the Canadian anti-fraud centre at 1-888-495-8501.