You might want to think twice before clicking on the first result of your Google searches.
Hackers have found another way to try and trick you out of your financial information, and that’s through search engine advertisements.
When you search Google for things like Amazon or Facebook, the first result comes up as an advertisement, which you can tell by the word “Ad” next to it.
These ads are hacked, the link that should take you to the website is swapped, and pop-ups trying to convince you that your computer is infected with a virus appear.
Instead of clicking the popup or calling the attached security number (which will lead you to a scammer trying to sell you something), you can hold CRTL + W on your keyboard and click exit page to exit from the browser tab.
The Canadian Anti-Fraud Center (CAFC) advises anyone who has been the victim of identity theft or who feels their computer has been compromised to contact them at 888-495-8501 or file a report on their website.
The CAFC has also given measures to anyone who is the victim of identity theft:
Step 1: Gather fraud information.
Step 2: Contact the two major credit bureaus; Equifax and TransUnion.
Step 3: Report the incident to your local police.
Step 4: Report the incident to the CAFC.
Step 5: Review your financial statements and notify them of any suspicious activity.
Step 6: Inform your financial institutions and credit card companies and change the passwords for your online accounts.
Step 7: If you suspect your mail has been redirected, notify Canada Post.
Step 8: Notify federal ID-issuing agencies.
Step 9: Notify provincial ID issuing agencies.