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Kingston Police and the CAFC give tips on how to boost your protection against common cyber threats

Release Date: October 10, 2023


Finding the motivation to start a new fitness routine can be tough, just like staying up to date on the latest cyber threats. But much like the latest fitness crazes like joggling (jogging and juggling) and doga (dog yoga), cyber criminals are also coming up with new and innovative techniques to step up their skills. Luckily, you don’t have to be a fitness expert or a cyber security buff to stay ahead of common cyber threats! Here is some information and tips on how to help protect yourself.


Common cyber threats and how to boost your protection:



Phishing is one of the easiest ways for fraudsters to steal sensitive information. Phishing messages can take many forms like an email or direct message, a phone call (vishing) or a text message (smishing) from a cyber criminal pretending to be from a legitimate source like someone you know or a reputable company. The message tries to trick you into giving your personal information by using tactics like urgent or threatening language. Fraudsters can use your information to steal your identity or to gain access to your personal and/or business’s accounts.


Boosting your protection against phishing

-Learn to spot the common signs of phishing like urgent or threatening language, spelling mistakes and requests for sensitive information

-Delete suspicious messages

-Report smishing messages to 7726 and to the CAFC (Canadian Anti Fraud Centre)


Investment scams

With reported losses of $308.6 million to the CAFC, investment scams produced the highest losses in 2022 and $161.4 million lost in the first six months of 2023. Like other types of scams and fraud, investment scams can take many forms. The most common form of investment scam involving Canadians is crypto currency investments after seeing a fake advertisement.


Romance scams

Fraudsters also target victims on dating and social media platforms by using a form of investment scams called romance scams. The cyber criminal develops a relationship with the victim and tricks them into giving money. In all instances of investment scams, cyber criminals tend to have an appealing sales pitch or story.


Boosting your protection against investment scams/romance scams

-Learn more about the common types of investment scams

-Always research investment platforms before investing your hard-earned money

-Be wary of too-good-to-be-true offers or individuals asking you for money a short time after meeting them


Service Scams

Service scams are a popular trend and involve cyber criminals stealing your money without providing an actual service or stealing your information by gaining access to your computer. Cyber criminals use a variety of different tactics to trick their victims. They may pretend to be a cellphone or existing service provider to ask for sensitive information to perform a “credit check”, or they may impersonate a tech support company to gain remote access to your computer putting you at risk of identify fraud.


Boosting your protection against service scams

-Learn more about the different types of service scams: Service scams information on the CAFC website

-Never allow individuals remote access to your device. If you are experiencing issues with your device, bring it to a reputable technician

-Never provide personal or sensitive information over the phone unless you initiated the call with your service provider


Social engineering

Cyber criminals are clever and will go to great lengths to steal from their victims. Social engineering happens when a fraudster does research on a search engine or social media to learn more about an individual or organization. They then use the information they found to send phishing messages that look like they come from a friend, a boss, a reputable company, or another trusted source to trick people into sending their sensitive information, like banking information and login credentials.


Boosting your protection against social engineering

-Limit what you share on social media

-Use strong and unique passwords and passphrases for each account

-Enable multi-factor authentication for added layers of protection in case your credentials fall into the wrong hands



No matter your level of cyber fitness, fraudsters will stop at nothing to steal from their victims. Your best protection against cyber threats is to learn more about them and the simple steps you can take to protect yourself.


To learn more about common tactics used by cyber criminals, explore the Fraudster’s toolbox infographic.


Anyone who suspects they have been the victim of cybercrime or fraud should report it to Kingston Police by submitting an online report or by calling 613-549-4660 and to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre’s online reporting system or by phone at 1-888-495-8501. If not a victim, report it to the CAFC anyway.

Contact Us

Kingston Police
705 Division Street
Kingston, Ontario
K7K 4C2

Telephone: 613-549-4660
TTY (hearing impaired): 613-549-8792
Administration Fax: 613-549-3111
Operations Fax: 613-549-7111

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