How to protect yourself from scammers: Be cautious, when dealing with people online or on the phone

A June 5, 2019 CBC article is entitled: “How to protect yourself from scammers: Police stress caution when dealing with people online or on the phone.”

An excerpt reads:

If someone suspects they’ve been scammed, the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre suggests to first gather as much information as possible, including documents, receipts, emails, and text messages.

The incident should then be reported to local police.

“It’s important that [the RNC has] the opportunity to follow up on these scams, to gain as much information as possible,” Cadigan said.

The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre also suggests calling them about the incident, as well as alerting the financial institution that’s involved: a bank or credit union, a credit card company, a money-service business, or an internet payment service provider.

It also advises that a victim of identity fraud should place an alert on his or her accounts, and report it to both credit bureaus, Equifax and TransUnion.

The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre says you should also share your story with friends, family members, and co-workers, because education is key in keeping someone else from falling prey to a scam.


Previous posts and updates about scams and scamming

Click here for previous posts about scams and scamming >

The above-noted previous posts highlight the dynamics and features of the topic at hand.

At the above-noted posts I describe how it came about that I began to write about scams – specifically door-to-door scams – in the first place. I also note that over the years, posts about scams have been among the most widely read items at this website.

At the previous posts, I have included many updates by way of articles and research reports related to this topic. Two of the most recent updates are highlighted below:

A June 11, 2019 CBC article is entitled: “Poll finds 90% of Canadians have fallen for fake news: Distrust of social media, Facebook, Twitter higher than concerns about cybercrime.”

A July 4, 2019 CBC article is entitled: “The real ‘fake news’: how to spot misinformation and disinformation online: For starters, let’s stop calling it ‘fake news’”.

The article notes that calling it disinformation or misinformation, and being specific about it, gives rise to a more effective conceptual framework for addressing the phenomenon at hand; an except from the article reads:

First off, we’re going to avoid using the term “fake news.” The Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee of Parliament in the United Kingdom recommended against using “fake news” in favour of more specific terms:

“The term ‘fake news’ is bandied around with no clear idea of what it means, or agreed definition. The term has taken on a variety of meanings, including a description of any statement that is not liked or agreed with by the reader. We recommend that the Government rejects the term ‘fake news,’ and instead puts forward an agreed definition of the words ‘misinformation’ and ‘disinformation.'”

The article also highlight the varieties of misinformation and disinformation and shares examples; an excerpt from the article reads:

What kinds of misinformation and disinformation are out there?

The U.K. Parliament’s Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee suggested some useful definitions for the kinds of fake content you’re likely to see online:

• Fabricated content: completely false content.

• Manipulated content: content that includes distortions of genuine information or imagery — a headline, for example, that is made more sensationalist to serve as “clickbait.”

• Imposter content: material involving impersonation of genuine sources — by using the branding of an established news agency, for instance.

• Misleading content: information presented in a misleading way — by, for example, presenting comment as fact.

• False context of connection: factually accurate content that is shared with false contextual information — for example, a headline that does not reflect the content of an article.

• Satire and parody: humorous but false stores presented as if they are true. Although this isn’t usually categorized as fake news, it may unintentionally fool readers.

Deceit, deception, and irregular warfare

As I see it, scams are a subset of a broader topic, namely deceit and deception.

Shakespeare addresses the topic of deception in a powerful and profoundly insightful way in Othello:

Evidence can readily be used as Iago uses it in Othello

Still another related topic is concerned with deception as a key component of irregular warfare in the Second World War and hybrid warfare as it is practised at the present time:

Click here for previous posts about irregular warfare >

The use, non-use, and misuse of evidence is an additional related topic of interest:

Click here for previous posts about evidence and evidence-based practice >

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