Windsor Police Financial Crimes Sergeant speaks out against recent cyberattacks and scams


A Sergeant for Windsor Police's Financial Crimes Unit says it's a frightening time as fraud, online scams, and phishing becomes more common locally and around the world. 

Speaking on AM800's The Shift, Sergeant Rob Durling is reacting to the recent cyberattack at five southwestern Ontario hospitals, including Chatham-Kent Health Alliance, Erie Shores HealthCare, Hôtel-Dieu Grace, Windsor Regional Hospital, and Bluewater Health in Sarnia. 

As you've heard on AM800 News, a band of cyber-criminals called 'Daixin Team' is claiming to be the group responsible for the cyber attack, where data connected to the ransomware attack has been published on the internet.

Durling says that smaller incidents, such as the grandparent scam, and other identity theft cases have seen an increase. 

He says those impacted need to reach out to police if their identification or passwords have been compromised.

"I think that's when they should be concerned. And then ultimately if they do have their bank accounts compromised and money is withdrawn, or when they receive letters from corporations saying that there is a data breach, that's when they should really be concerned and then they should be reaching out."

Durling says those doing these attacks are looking for a quick strike and to profit. 

"They're looking either for money, or they want information, sensitive information, SIN numbers, bank accounts numbers, transit numbers, anything they can get their hands on that way they are obviously looking to benefit. So I think that's kind of their number one reason to that, and then obviously the secondary reason is to disrupt company functions."

He says these criminals are not usually someone in your community. 

"It's someone potentially on the other side of the world that has access through a modem, and a website, and they're able to infiltrate these company's networks. Or they're doing it with an interoffice email that they've hijacked. It is extremely difficult to find out who is on the other end."

Durling says unfortunately many of these cases are past local jurisdiction as the attacks are done from other countries. 

He says it's still important for those impacted to call police, the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre, Ontario Provincial Police, or even the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

-with files from AM800's The Shift with Patty Handysides