EDITORIAL: Internet scammers abundant

In this era of technological advancement, and digital correspondence, there is never a shortage of scams floating around cyberspace.

We receive them in our in-box on a daily basis, and have become adept at spotting them.

For many, however, the realistic premise and circumstances surrounding many scams pull in victims before those being taken advantage of even realize what is happening.

Sadly, the hunters often prey on the elderly – we suspect for a couple of reasons. Not only are the elderly generally less cognizant when it comes to the digital universe, but, perhaps even more so, they are being targeted because they are too trusting in people.

We get calls, emails and visits from seniors on a nearly-weekly basis, asking us to post another warning about the latest scam.

There are a couple of tips to follow that can help avoid what could result in financial devastation.

First and foremost, if it sounds too good to be true, it generally is.

The emails from wealthy widows in faraway places are not as abundant as they used to be, but they still are coming from time to time, which indicates they are still effective. Keep this in mind: It is highly unlikely that you have a long-lost relative in Nigeria; no one has randomly selected you to inherit their millions.

When it comes to emails involving the Canada Revenue Agency, this is an easy one to debunk: The CRA does not use email. In what is likely an act of self-preservation, the CRA relies on good old Canada Post for its initial contact.

Another method to thwart the scammers is to check the email address – not the “name,” but the actual address.

There is almost always some kind of typo in it. “custimerservice@bemo.com; info at faccebook.com; accounts@payypal.com,” etc.

All these emails request you click on an accompanying link. Don’t ever click on that link.

If you still think it’s genuine, reply to the email itself. It will almost always bounce back to you.

The best advice we can give is to ramp up your skepticism. It’s a sad reality in today’s world.

–Terry Farrell

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Comox Valley Ringette Association requests equal ice time

The Comox Valley Ringette Association has appealed to the regional district for… Continue reading

Vancouver Island under a thunderstorm watch tonight

Environment Canada forecasts downpour and possible thunder and lightning

Vancouver Island NDP MP responds to Liberal’s throne speech

’Feds say nice things but when it comes to taking action it’s a different story’ says North Island- Powell River MP, Rachel Blaney

Suspicious van report leads police to issue important reminders

Police received a report about a suspicious white van driving slowly around Comox.

Sheila McDonnell elected chair of Comox Valley Schools board

Sheila McDonnell was elected chair of the Comox Valley Schools board of… Continue reading

B.C. reports 91 new cases as officials remain worried over ‘clusters of COVID-19

There have now been a total of 8,395 cases in B.C. since the pandemic began

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Canada’s active COVID-19 cases top 10,000 as daily new cases triple over the past month

Dr. Tam repeated her warning to young people, who have made up the majority of recent cases

First 8 months of fatal overdoses in B.C. have now exceeded 2019 death toll

Nine people died every two days in August, BC Coroners Service data shows

Liberal effort to reset policy agenda panned by rivals as too much talk, not action

Trudeau said it’s ‘all too likely’ families won’t be able to gather for Thanksgiving next month

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

‘Show us the money’ for cannabis, local governments tell B.C.

Municipal tax, transit revenues falling as costs rise

Courtenay doctor completes virtual Boston Marathon

Janet Green has run another Boston Marathon — a virtual one —… Continue reading

Cops for Cancer: COVID-19 can’t stop Tour de Rock

‘having the chance to come back and ride this year means everything to me’

Most Read