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Police advise public to not be fooled by scam based spear phishing attempts

In a recent scam, cybercriminals are trying to scam members of the public by sending text messages from an unknown number claiming to be from your boss. The texts contain a lot of detailed information about your workplace, making them seem legitimate. They seem legitimate because the scammers research your organization and manager/boss before texting you. They use the information they find in their research to try and trick you into believing that you are actually speaking with your manager/boss. This scam is a type of personalized phishing attack known as spear phishing.


The scammers send casual messages about your organization to put you at ease before moving to what they really want, which is money. They tell you that they have a business expense that they urgently need to pay for. Then, they ask you to send them money using a cryptocurrency such as Bitcoin. If you send it to them, the money will go directly to the cybercriminals. You may then end up needing to speak to your real manager/boss to explain what happened!


Follow these tips to avoid falling victim to a spear phishing scam:


·         Be skeptical if you receive a message from an unknown number, especially if you are being asked to act urgently. 

·         Any unexpected financial request should be treated very cautiously. It is highly unlikely that your actual manager/boss would ask for you to send them money using cryptocurrency.

·         If you receive an unusual message, follow your business or organization’s reporting policy. Others in your organization may be receiving similar messages. By reporting the message quickly, you can help prevent other attacks from being successful.


Stop, look, and think. Don’t be fooled by the scammers.


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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