Mike Veaudry holds up his radio-frequency identification (RFID) blocking wallet. RFID information, which is stored on a bank card chip, can be read remotely. (Aaron Hinks photo)

White Rock residents learn fraud awareness

Mike Veaudry says fraud’s one of the fastest growing criminal activities in the world

Fraud is one of the fastest growing criminal activities across the globe, and on Wednesday, a group of White Rock residents spent the morning learning how to protect themselves and their money.

Nearly 25 people turned up to the Fraud Awareness Workshop at the White Rock Community Centre, co-sponsored by White Rock Community Policing and White Rock RCMP.

Mike Veaudry, who has written two books about the subject, told attendees that fraudsters are becoming more sophisticated, organized and successful in obtaining sensitive information from North Americans.

“Organized crime has taken over fraud worldwide,” Veaudry told the gathering, adding that 80 per cent of fraud is perpetrated by organized crime.

“L.A. street gangs make more money doing fraud than selling drugs.”

Veaudry said that in North America, people who have been defrauded once are likely to be defrauded three more times in their life.

He explained that there is a network of fraudsters selling and trading data on the black market.

The most common method criminals use to obtain sensitive information, Veaudry said, is “phishing.”

Phishing is an attempt to obtain sensitive information, such as PIN numbers, social security numbers and banking information, by posing as a trustworthy entity through electronic communication, whether by phone or internet.

RELATED: White Rock man warns of credit-card phone scam

RELATED: White Rock BIA issues scam warning

RELATED: White Rock merchant warns of invoice scam

One way people can protect themselves from phishing, Veaudry said, is to simply not answer the telephone.

Veaudry says he waits for all incoming calls, even if it’s his sister, to go to voice mail before responding. A concern, he said, is that criminals can now “spoof” their phone number to make it appear as if it’s someone else calling, whether that number belongs to a family member or the bank.

Veaudry also explained how people can protect themselves from email phishing attempts. Often, criminals will send an email disguised as one from a reputable source, whether that be a bank, business, or friend. He told the gathering that they should be extra cautious when receiving an email, especially if it includes attachments, and to never click emailed hyperlinks.

Fraudsters have now, increasingly, been taking their activity offline and into the real world, Veaudry said.

Veaudry explained that fraudsters are now targeting ATM’s with “shimmers.”

Shimmers, Veaudry said, are small pieces of plastic that can be inserted, by a criminal, into an ATM.

The shimmer continues to steal data off the card until it’s removed, using tweezers, by the criminal. Veaudry said some fraudsters have credit-card cloning machines at home, which can replicate debit cards.

He recommended that everyone start using two-stage authentication.

Two-stage authentication, he explained, prompts the bank to call or text the account holder’s phone with a code, which then needs to be entered before online transactions are approved.

Veaudry’s books, Fraud Awareness and Fraud: Don’t Be A Victim, are available on Amazon.

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

Just Posted

Video tribute to KPU’s spring grad class also honours Andrew Petter, Bill Wright

‘We still want to celebrate our graduates, their achievements, and their resilience’

Surrey baseball association loses ‘a true giant’ in Bruce Lawson

Longtime volunteer ‘always gave his heart and soul to Surrey Canadian and the game of baseball’

Surrey School District forecasts up to 30 per cent of students will return to class this week

Education Minister Rob Fleming said on June 1, about 60,000 B.C. children returned to school

Clover Valley Beer Festival cancelled

Cloverdale beer fest falls victim to COVID-19

South Surrey’s Darts Hill Garden Park to re-open – by appointment

City of Surrey-run garden will be open to visitors Thursday through Saturday

B.C. records four new COVID-19 cases, Abbotsford hospital outbreak cleared

Four senior home outbreaks also declared over, eight still active

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

We’re asking you to lock arms with us, as we look to better days ahead

RCMP, coroner investigate murder-suicide on Salt Spring Island

Two dead, police say there is no risk to the public

About 30% of B.C. students return to schools as in-class teaching restarts amid pandemic

Education minister noted that in-class instruction remains optional

Trudeau avoids questions about anti-racism protesters dispersed for Trump photo-op

Prime minister says racism is an issue Canadians must tackle at home, too

B.C.’s Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics goes virtual

The annual event partnering RCMP with Special Olympians is dramatically altered by COVID-19

Bateman program encourages people to sketch outside, connect with nature

#MyNatureSketch initiative encourages Canadians to become ‘bright-eyed three year olds’

Be cautious expanding COVID-19 bubble, Dr. Bonnie Henry tells B.C.

Senior homes stay off-limits as schools, businesses reopen

Most Read