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Internet fraud

Online scam targets people searching for recipes

If you get your recipes from Google, be aware, police say

1 min read
caption Users should take caution while browsing the web as new scams keep popping. up
Stacey Seward

Nova Scotia RCMP say a new kind of internet scam is targeting foodies.

Fraudsters are setting up web pages that appear to be recipes for popular dishes. When a user searches for a recipe and clicks on that search result, their computer is remotely locked by the scammer, who then demands money to unlock it.

“It’s nothing we’ve heard of before,” said Cpl. Jennifer Clarke, spokesperson for the RCMP, on Thursday.

The scam was reported to Nova Scotia Crime Stoppers, who notified RCMP. Clarke said she is unaware if anybody has fallen victim to it.

Clarke is concerned that with the approaching holiday season — and all the home-cooking that comes with it — some Nova Scotians are at risk of becoming victims.

The best way to be protected from this kind of fraud is to keep anti-virus software up to date, said Clarke. Anyone who clicks on a website that locks their computer is urged to immediately disconnect from the internet and bring the device to a computer repair technician.

Clarke warns residents to never give out personal or financial information. Instead, contact local police and the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.

Clarke said she isn’t aware what recipes are being targeted and that caution should always be practised while online.

“Certainly, have a ‘user beware’ sort of attitude with the internet, knowing that these things could happen.”

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