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Millions of scam emails sent daily looking to scoop up personal information

MONTREAL - A new survey says digitally connected young Canadians have become a popular target of phishing scams — fraudsters trying to steal personal information for financial gain.

Visa Canada's survey says 92 per cent of Canadians under 35 claim to have been targeted by phishing scams seeking bank account numbers, passwords, card numbers and social insurance numbers.

Visa says the unsolicited emails, text messages, mail and phone calls generally have a sense of urgency with requests for immediate action to avoid things like accounts being closed. Conversely, the scammers usually target seniors with phone calls.

Overall, 84 per cent of the Canadians surveyed said they were frequently targeted by phishing scams — and more than two-thirds said they`d report the scams if they knew how.

Along with requests for passwords and account numbers, bad grammar and misspelled words are often indications of a phishing scam.

Visa says while such emails shouldn't be opened, they should be forwarded to law enforcement, the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at [email protected]; Visa's [email protected] or [email protected]

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