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Leaders in the field of Fraud and Anti-Counterfeiting gathered for the 24th Annual Fraud and Anti- Counterfeiting Conference hosted by Lorne Lipkus of Kestenberg Siegal Lipkus LLP last month.  Delegates included law enforcement, RCMP, FBI, Department of Homeland Security, US Secret Service, US Department of Justice, Competition Bureau, Crime Stoppers, Canadian Food Inspection Agency, investigators, legal counsel, associations, banking institutions, Canadian Food Inspection Agency and brand owners. Participants enjoyed a few days of action packed sessions sharing information on what is happening in the Cyber World and learning about who is here to help. Caroline Czajko HRAI’s Manager Regulatory Affairs and Divisions attended gathering intelligence to share with HRAI members.

HVACR Wholesalers recently reported concerns as they have been impacted by sale scams.  In the coming months HRAI plans to work with stakeholders to discuss implementing an anti-fraud program that includes a warning system to share relevant information with members. 

Some key tips discussed at the conference included the importance of educating employees on cyber-crime and ensuring companies have an audit infrastructure in place. Over the past three years many corporations have moved away from backing up their data with tape cassettes to on-line platforms. It was reported that hackers have become skilled at not only compromising systems but also the back-up files. More prevalent over the past several months are fraudulent schemes, including *Phishing* attacks and data breaches that involve Bitcoin payments.  It was suggested that companies should never rely on anti-virus software to protect them as upgrades are typically more than nine months out of date and new customized malware seems to pop up daily.

Lastly, it was reported that Canadians love free Wi-Fi.  It was recommended never to sign onto free Wi-Fi in public places such as airports, coffee shops, hotels etc.  The Wi-Fi Pineapple is a piece of hardware that was originally created for network penetration testing. This device can easily be purchased on the internet and it is commonly used by hackers in public places leaving you vulnerable.

For more information, contact Caroline Czajko at HRAI, cczajko@hrai.ca

*Phishing is the fraudulent attempt to obtain sensitive information such as usernames, passwords and banking details by disguising oneself as a trustworthy entity in an electronic communication. Typically carried out by email spoofing or instant messaging. It often directs users to enter personal information at a fake website which matches the look of the legitimate site.