How to Report Cyber Fraud & Why It’s Critical for Businesses

Cyber fraud is one of the most common and threatening forms of fraud that takes place around the world. Unfortunately, cybercriminals have advanced when it comes to stealing sensitive information from their victims.

These hackers use this information to financially fund themselves and may even use the money to fund more serious crimes such as terrorism. This is why businesses must work to protect themselves against cyber fraud through proper cyber fraud reporting and taking proactive measures to prevent attacks in the future. 

What is cyber fraud?

Cyber fraud, also known as cybercrime, is a crime committed via a computer with the intent to corrupt another individual’s personal and financial information stored online.

While most cybercrimes are done in order to gain profit, many attackers do it to directly damage or disable computers and devices, spread malware, or spread illegal information. 

3 Signs Your Business has been Compromised by a Cyberattack

Ransomware Messages

Many businesses are impacted by ransomware. Ransomware is a form of malware designed to encrypt files on a device, rendering the files and the system that rely on them unusable. 

The most obvious sign that your business has been compromised by a ransomware attack is if you’ve received a ransomware message that locks you out of your computer and demands payment to regain access. The attacker will usually request payment in the form of Bitcoin as it’s untraceable.

Unusual Emails

Believe it or not, emails are one of the most common ways that hackers successfully steal sensitive information. In this situation, a cybercriminal will hack into the email account of someone that you know in order to send an email that looks legitimate. This might be an email from a colleague, friend, or another organization that you’ve done business with. 

The email might also have unexpected attachments or strange requests. The goal is to get you to click on its contents where the cybercriminal can then infect your computer with malware. 

Suspicious Links

Another sign your business has been compromised by a cyberattack is if you begin to receive suspicious links. If you notice unexpected popups or websites that redirect you to another site, the cybercriminal has likely gained access to your computer and is redirecting you to a malicious site or program. 

Why Reporting Cyber Fraud is Critical

Once you’ve been attacked, the damage is done — and it’s going to be critical to report it as soon as possible. Unfortunately, many companies believe that they shouldn’t waste their time reporting cyber fraud as many cybercriminals are unsuccessfully found. However, reporting an attack can directly help companies in various ways and contribute to the bigger picture of minimizing cyberattacks in general. 

With that said, reporting protects your company and others. Essentially, reporting a crime as soon as possible will increase the possibility of you recovering money or mitigating the effects of business identity theft.

In addition to this, reporting a crime can help others because it can potentially aid in police agencies disrupting the way in which the cybercriminal operates, leading to fewer victims.

Even more, reporting cyber fraud can help prevent more serious crimes. While many cybercriminals steal financial information for their own personal gain such as to support a certain lifestyle, some criminals perform more heinous crimes such as terrorism or people trafficking. Reporting criminals can halt these crimes and can lead to the closure of these kinds of activities in the future.

How to Report Cyber Fraud

If you suspect fraudulent or suspicious activity, you can report it to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre or by telephone at 1-888-495-8501

Online Reporting System

Users are able to log into the online reporting system tool using either:

  • GC Key (user ID/password)
  • Government sign-in by Verified.Me

Please note, if you choose to report online, the system will log you out once there has been no activity for 20 consecutive minutes. This will prevent you from completing your report. With that said, try to complete your report when you have uninterrupted time to avoid reporting delays. 

Telephone

The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre is available to answer calls Monday through Friday from 9 am to 4:45 pm (Eastern Time) and is closed on holidays.

Whether you decide to report through the online reporting system or by telephone, it’s always important to keep as much evidence as possible. Be sure to keep evidence in a secure location so that it can be readily available if requested. Evidence may include but is not limited to:

  • Cancelled cheques 
  • Credit card receipts
  • Money order receipts
  • Phone bills
  • Certified or other mailed receipts
  • Printed or electronic copies of web pages
  • Chatroom or newsgroup texts

How to Avoid Cyber Fraud 

The best form of protection for companies is to have processes in place that make it difficult for cybercriminals to steal information. Here are 3 ways to avoid cyber fraud. 

1. Set Strong Passwords

One of the first and easiest things a company can do to prevent cyber fraud is to practice setting strong, complex passwords. A strong password with at least 8 characters in length and includes a mix of uppercase, lowercase, and special characters will make it more difficult for cybercriminals to gain access to your information. 

2. Secure Your Internet Connection

Another way for companies to avoid cyber fraud is by securing their internet connection. It’s common practice for companies to send and receive sensitive information throughout the day. But having critical information floating around makes companies more susceptible to a cyberattack. Companies can better secure their network by doing things like using a VPN and WPA2.

3. Keep Antivirus Software Updated

Keeping your antivirus software up-to-date on a regular basis ensures that your company can stay protected against new threats. The reality is, computers are regularly threatened by new viruses — and it only takes a second to be compromised by one.

Antivirus software contains the latest files needed to protect your computer and systems against viruses, allowing you to confidently run your business without the fear of a virus waiting to attack without your knowledge. 

Cyber fraud is a constant threat to businesses. But companies can minimize threats by reporting cyber fraud and taking the necessary precautions to strengthen their IT infrastructure. If you’re ready to reduce your company’s vulnerabilities, arrange a free cyber assessment with us today. 



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