Fraudsters using QR codes
The CAFC is receiving reports of fraudsters using QR codes in various scams to steal your personal information and/or money.Read article
Senior Program Manager, Tech for Good & TELUS Wise
In early July 2023, a news release from the Hamilton Police Service circulated about a crypto scam. Two Canadian teens known as Felon and Gaze scammed a victim in the US out of $4.2 million worth of Ethereum and Bitcoin.
Several local and international news organizations reported on the story. But guess what? It was fake news. Hackers spoofed a Hamilton Police Services email address (disguised their communication to seem like it was coming from a trusted source) and sent out the fake news release.
There is a lot of fake news out there, making it hard for anyone consuming media to decipher fact from fiction. But it’s important to know how to recognize fake news, verify what you’re reading, avoid untrusted sources and share only what’s reputable.
Is it real or not?
Fake news is a broad umbrella, which according to Canadian Centre for Cybersecurity, includes:
How can you tell what’s real and what’s fake? This is a really important question to ask – especially as all of us consume more media online.
In our digital world, it can seem like everyone is an expert (think fitness, health, travel, being a mom to name a few) or has an opinion to share. There are so many interpretations of the facts and so many opinions about what those facts mean. And then, there are also people and groups intent on sharing fake news to advance their damaging agendas, cause harm or victimize innocent people.
As a baseline, The Canadian Centre for Cybersecurity reminds us that valid information is factually correct, based on data that can be confirmed and is not misleading.
Building on that, the Government of Canada offers some great tips on how to identify possible fake news. Be cautious of content that:
These tips are great for adults, but what about the kids in your life? Children may not have fully developed the critical thinking skills that many adults have to decipher what’s real and what’s not. It’s important to help them hone those skills and become more media literate with tools designed specifically for them. TELUS partner MediaSmarts offers four easy steps to help youth and adults “Break the Fake” and figure out what’s true online:
Avoiding the fake news trap
Digital and social media offer great opportunities to explore your curiosity on virtually any topic, stay current with the news and learn. How can you enjoy those opportunities productively while avoiding the fake news trap?
With the sheer volume of news available and the uptick in smart phone journalists and armchair experts, it’s more important than ever to monitor your news consumption and approach it with a critical eye. In an age of diverse digital media, knowing how to distinguish fact from fiction is an important skill for staying responsibly informed and stopping the spread of fake news and the harm it can cause.
Test your knowledge about “fake news” and the best ways to avoid it with this TELUS Wise Kahoot quiz.