Scam protection by CIRA Canadian Shield
What is a ‘scam’?
Online scams are a form of fraud perpetrated over the internet. Examples of scams include websites that pretend to be another (for example, a fake bank or government site) and collect critical information (such as your social insurance number or your username and password for your actual bank). Other types of scams include fake shops that “sell” you an item that doesn’t exist.
As a public Domain Name System (DNS) resolver that verifies and blocks malicious websites, CIRA Canadian Shield protects users against malware, including scams.
Scam protection against fraudulent domains
In October 2021, CIRA partnered with ScamAdviser to add a new layer of protection to its service and strengthen its anti-fraud capabilities for thousands of users across the country. Every month, ScamAdviser scans one million new domains. Its data is used by anti-virus companies, browsers, and internet filters to protect more than one billion consumers worldwide.
Since scam protection was introduced in October 2021, Canadian Shield has blocked on average 13,000 daily requests to fraudulent domains to reach a total of nearly 900,000 blocks for the quarter ending in December.
CIRA data shows that 72% of scam blocks were noted for DNS requests originating from Ontario and Quebec. But every province and territory saw its unique pattern of scam blocks, centered primarily around isolated spikes in blocks related to individual incidents.
Daily, Canadian Shield records the highest number of scam blocks between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. ET, with an average of over 10 blocks recorded every minute. This correlates with peak evening online shopping hours.
Canadian Shield identified and blocked requests to fraudulent domains associated with 167 top-level domains. While a majority of these fraudulent domains were only seen in isolated incidents affecting users on a single ISP, or in a small regional area, 384 domains affected users across all Canadian provinces and territories. These 384 fraudulent sites accounted for 62.3% of all scam blocks recorded by Canadian Shield in Q4. The highest hourly spike in scam blocks was recorded on October 25th, when Canadian Shield blocked over 3,400 requests to gambling site, slot-azino777.xyz, between 10 a.m. and 11 a.m. ET.
Cryptocurrency and online streaming: the most common scam sites blocked
As more people continue to show interest in the growing and fast-changing cryptocurrency market, scammers do too. According to new data from blockchain analytics firm Chainalysis, scammers around the world took home a record $14 billion in cryptocurrency in 2021 and Canadians were not spared.
Cryptocurrency and online streaming were the most common types of scam sites blocked by Canadian Shield. Cryptocurrency sites accounted for 21.1% of all blocks, followed by online streaming sites with 15.4%. This trend was not observed on popular commercial streaming services like Netflix or YouTube, but predominantly on illegal services.
6 pm and 9 pm ET
Peak evening online shopping hours
Highest number of scams blocked
10 blocks per minute
in the evening
In 2020, Canadians lost
+ $11 million
to digital currency scams