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Fraud glossary

Commonly used terms to help you stay educated about fraud.

Angler phishing
Fraud perpetrated through social media, providing ample opportunity for scammers to trick people. This is done through fake URLs, cloned websites, posts, and tweets, which can all be used to persuade people to divulge sensitive information or download malware. Scammers can also create fake online customer support personas to try and persuade you to commit the requested action.
A botnet is a group of hijacked Internet-connected devices. To create a botnet, a scammer takes advantage of security vulnerabilities or device weaknesses to control numerous devices. To prevent systems and devices in your network from becoming part of a botnet, protect your devices by running updates and security patches.
Click bait
Clickbait typically refers to the practice of writing sensationalized or misleading headlines or images in order to attract clicks on a piece of content.
Cyber threat
A scammer, using the internet takes advantage of a known vulnerability in a product for the purposes of exploiting a network and the information the network carries.
The intentional theft or misappropriation of funds entrusted to an employee or someone in a position of trust.
Extortion is the practice of obtaining a benefit (money, information, etc.) through threats, violence, coercion, or any other abuse of authority.
A firewall is a software program or piece of hardware that blocks hackers from entering and using your computer.
Identity theft
When someone steals your personal information and uses it without your knowledge to make fraudulent purchases or commit other crimes. This is the most commonly reported fraud in Canada. 
Mail fraud
Mail fraud is a crime and includes any attempt by a business to send unsolicited mail to a home including offers or requests such as, prize winnings, free gifts, donations, or subscriptions.
A malicious software designed to gain unauthorized access to your computer or network.
Mass marketing fraud
Fraud committed using mass media including telephone, mail, Internet and email.
Pharming, a combination of the words phishing and farming, is similar to phishing but instead of email, a website is manipulated (or spoofed) to gain confidential information.
Contact is made through an unsolicited email that claims to be legitimate. The email requests that you verify information either through an email or via a web link.
A type of malicious software that infects your computer and blocks you from accessing your files or device until you pay a ransom to the attacker.
Search engine phishing
A fraudulent website that offers cheap products or amazing deals to get it indexed by legitimate search engines appearing in the top of search engine result.
Scammers install illegal devices on ATMs, point-of-sale (POS) terminals, or gas pumps to capture data or record cardholders' PINs.
The same as phishing but sent through SMS text messages.
Social engineering
A term used to describe a broad range of manipulative behaviour to trick you into revealing personal or confidential information.
Spear phishing
A phishing method that targets specific people in an organization.
When a fraud site impersonates or spoofs legitimate businesses and tricks unsuspecting people into divulging personal information. Spoofing can take many forms, but in the end, all want you to disclose sensitive information such as passwords, credit card numbers, and bank account information.
A computer program that is capable of copying itself and corrupting or "infecting" your device.
Phishing by voice; using the phone to manipulate people into providing information. Often the bait is a free offer, prize, or vacation that you've won. But to collect your freebie, you must first send information or money. 

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