Police warn of SIM-swapping scam after three incidents in Edmonton

Police warn of SIM-swapping scam after three incidents in Edmonton

‘It might just be totally random, it might not be targeted — it’s opportunity’

Edmonton police say they have had three reports of SIM swapping but believe there could be more people who have fallen victim to this sort of crime. (Topperest/Shutterstock)


As Fraud Prevention Month draws to a close, Edmonton police are warning of a new scam that recently popped up in the city: SIM swapping.

SIM cards, also known as subscriber identification modules, are used by cellphone carriers to store information on servers about a subscriber’s identity.

The SIM card switch can be done remotely and doesn’t require the physical phone that’s being targeted.

Fraudsters will often use the cellphone provider’s online chat options or a phone call to make the switch but they require some level of personal information for the person targeted.

This data can be collected with malware, phishing attacks or even through social media, police said. A lot of times the scammers may even cold call, said Det. Linda Herczeg with the economic crimes section.

“They randomly select a number and if someone answered the phone they might say, ‘Hi, is Julie there?’ ‘Oh no, this isn’t Julie, this is Anita,'” Herczeg said. “So they’ve got a number and they’ve got a name. Then they just start digging for information. It might just be totally random, it might not be targeted — it’s opportunity.”

Because the fraudsters are using online chat options police were unable to track where the activity originated.

When the SIM card is swapped the victim’s phone will still be usable, especially if it is connected to wifi, but phone calls can’t be made or received. Once the phone is reset it may begin to make calls again but the fraudster could now have access to the new SIM card and all the information on it.

Edmonton Police Service member Detective Linda Herczeg with the economic crimes sections talks about SIM swapping during the final week of Fraud Prevention Month. March 26, 2019. (Tricia Kindleman/CBC)

The small chips can store a lot of information, Herczeg said.

“With the SIM card, that data is stored in a server in a warehouse somewhere. So the information that goes on to the SIM card is text messages, a lot of service providers are going away from [that].” Herczeg said, “But we do know that all of your contact information, phone contact, addresses, all of your app information is held on the SIM card.”

Edmonton police shared the story of a woman named Patricia Visser who had her bank account drained. Her daughter noticed money missing from her account when she called her mother using WhatsApp to find out what was going on.

Visser then reached out to her bank but her phone wouldn’t connect the call until after she restarted it. Her bank was able to reverse a transfer once she got in touch with them and put a stop to the fraudulent activity.

Her cellphone provider said someone had been able to provide a number of identifying details via their chat option when they requested a new SIM card.

She went two weeks with no access to her accounts and had to change all of her logins and passwords.

Herczeg said EPS have had three reports of SIM swapping but believe there could be more people who have fallen victim to this sort of crime.

Service providers, utility companies or banks will never ask for personal or account information via email or text message, police said.

In 2018, 360 online scam incidents were reported to police with an overall loss of $1.2 million.

Tips on how to prevent SIM swapping

  • Create a PIN on your mobile phone account
  • Do not publish your phone number on any public social media profiles
  • Review credit card bills, bank statements and phone bills
  • Do not use the same passwords or usernames. Make them long, complicated and difficult to guess
  • Consider not using the remember card/username option on financial apps
  • Do not click hyperlinks in text messages or emails that come from service providers, utility companies or banks


Tricia Kindleman


Tricia Kindleman has spent her life in Alberta. She grew up in Edmonton and attended Mount Royal College, now university, in Calgary. She has worked in newsrooms in Edmonton and Grande Prairie.

Android Pie actually fixes a smartphone’s biggest problem: battery life

Android Pie actually fixes a smartphone's biggest problem: battery life

Android Pie actually fixes a smartphone’s biggest problem: battery life

New technology to help with battery life will be very welcomed from all my customers. That problem is a common complaint reported by customers for years now. Nice to see Samsung has chosen this issue to rectify. Good old Pie just seems to solve everything. Read further below to find out more:

Welcome to our new AI-powered battery saving overlords (please don’t kill all humans).

I carry around a BlackBerry KEY2 as my “daily driver” but my other phone — the one I use for work and do random things to and install random stuff — is a Pixel 2. The small Pixel. The best Pixel. Well, best in everything but battery life.

The smaller Pixel 2 has a 2,700 mAh battery compared to the bigger 3,520 mAh battery in the XL version. You can talk about pushing fewer pixels and how it uses less battery until you’re blue in the face but the Pixel 2 has a small battery and doesn’t last nearly as long as its bigger sibling or many other phones. In fact, it has struggled to make it through the day on occasion — and I’m not one of those people who can never put their phone down. But all that was in the pre-Pie days.

Android Pie wasn’t the most flashy of updates, but it did one thing right. A very important thing.

Android Pie did some cool things with notifications and added in some half-baked gestures, but ultimately it looks a lot like Oreo. Which looked a lot like Nougat. There are folks who hate it all and wanted to see it burned to the ground and rebuilt into something different, but Pie wasn’t the update for them. But it is the update for everyone else. And that’s because it addresses the single most important thing about every smartphone in the world: battery life.

We always want the battery to last longer. You can buy specific phones with ginormous batteries or secret sauce that makes a battery last longer than it should — my KEY2 comes to mind there because BlackBerry isn’t ever going to tell us why it gets double the battery life of most other phones its size. Maybe it’s a Canadian military secret. Anyhoo, I was saying you can look for a phone that has a big honking battery if you want to, but most phones don’t fit that mold and have smaller batteries and dedicated forums filled with people and ideas to make them last longer.

Pie changes all of that. Google is using its powerful and scary Artificial Intelligence to make the battery last longer. Google calls it Adaptive Battery, but I call it “hot damn, this is so much better”. If I’m in a place with a strong signal and mind what I’m doing I can get almost three days from my Pixel 2 battery and that’s with the screen on about 7 hours worth during that time. And you can cruise on over to Reddit and see folks that are getting even better numbers since the Pie update. That’s downright amazing.

Android Pie’s Adaptive Battery doubles the battery life on my Pixel 2. It’s about damn time.

I admit I was skeptical when I first heard Google talking about machine learning that can predict your usage and get insane battery life, and there is a problem somewhere that makes your battery life suck if you don’t have a great signal. Clearly, the tech isn’t perfect. But it’s better than I expected and that’s always a plus. Android updates are always a mixed bag of good and bad and that one thing that really sucks, but I don’t even care about any of it with Android Pie. Google got Adaptive Battery right, or at least almost right, on the first try.

More: Android Pie issue tracker: The biggest bugs and problems

I know that plenty of other people are seeing their phones crash and burn when it comes to the Pie update on their Pixel phones. It’s one of the biggest complaints with every update and Pie was no exception. I have no idea why it is so good for some and so bad for others (I expect it’s either app related or signal related) but I hope someone at Google can figure it out and whatever is done to fix it doesn’t F up my battery life. And here’s hoping Android Q can fix the next worst thing in the world and my phone can finally mow my lawn.

Happy holidays, y’all. Stay out of trouble!


Rumfo Car Mount, Universal Car Rearview Mirror Mount Truck Auto Bracket Holder Cradle for for iPhone 7/6/6s Plus, Samsung

Rumfo Car Mount, Universal Car Rearview Mirror Mount Truck Auto Bracket Holder Cradle for for iPhone 7/6/6s Plus, Samsung

  • Universal Rearview Mirror Car Mount for Most Mobile Phones,Cellphones,Smartphones; Through solid, high-quality workmanship way, foam-filled contact surfaces to prevent your phone off, more stable and secure.
  • The clamp is firmly screwed to the car rear view mirror, its adjustable design fits different sizes of mirrors.
  • Extra-firm goose neck absorbs vibration, providing a stable viewing environment.
  • Easy to install, no tools required. Attach the bracket to the footrest.
  • Exquisite workmanship, quality and durability, a variety of options, easy to use.


What Is Apple Wi-Fi Calling and How To Use It

Apple iPhone Wi-Fi Calling

On December 12, 2016, Telus released a carrier update to compatible Apple iPhone devices enabling Apple’swificalling new Wi-Fi Calling feature. This feature allows customers to send or receive calls or text messages (SMS and MMS) via Wi-Fi when their compatible device has little or no cellular coverage. You can use Wi-Fi calling the same as you do on the cellular network, even if the person on the other end is not using Wi-Fi Calling.

Though there is no additional cost to enable Wi-Fi Calling on devices, the calls and messages sent using this feature are billed the same as if they were made over Telus’ cellular network (minutes used to make local and nationwide calls are deducted from the customer’s monthly voice allowance and any overage will be rated according to the rate plan). Standard long distance charges apply when using Wi-Fi Calling.

Wi-Fi Calling will only work within Canada at this time.


What you will need

  • An Apple iPhone 6 or newer device (includes iPhone SE) with iOS 10.2 or newer installed.
  • An active TELUS Wireless Postpaid rate plan with LTE SIM card.
  • A Wi-Fi network allowing Voice over IP (VOIP) calling. Call quality does depend on the network and a minimum download speed of 0.5Mbps is recommended.


How to Activate the Feature

  1. Launch the Settings app.
  2. Select Phone.
  3. Select Wi-Fi calling then turn on
  4. You will need to read and accept the Wi-Fi Calling Terms and Conditions
  5. Enter your Emergency 911 Address.
    This is important as this is the address that 911 dispatchers will use if they cannot get a location from the caller in an emergency.


More information

For any questions or concerns stop by Cambridge Electronics in the Cornerstone Mall or call us at 780-998-9551

If you would like more info on phone and plan details click here, to go to the Telus website.

Introducing the Google Pixel and Pixel XL

Introducing the Google Pixel and Pixel XL

The Pixel and Pixel XL are two new phones soon to be available. They have entirely been designed by Google, and feature a bunch of cool and useful Google-based features, built right in to the phone itself.


Image result for google pixel

New Features

One of the core features of the Pixel phones is what is being called the Google Assistant, an updated take on the Ok Google feature included with some of the newer Android phones. You can access the Assistant by saying ‘Ok Google’ out loud, or by holding down on the home button. According to Google, the more you use it, the more useful it gets.

Google has also stated that anyone buying a Pixel will also receive unlimited storage for all of their photos and videos, all stored at full resolution online in Google Photos. This will greatly help reduce the amount of storage space normally taken up by your photos, allowing you to save more of what really matters to you to your device, like apps and music.

The phone also features Rapid Charge technology via the the reversible USB Type-C charger, giving you up to 7 hours of battery life in just 15 minutes. And when you aren’t using your phone, Doze automatically puts it into a sleep state to extend your battery life.



Here’s a quick rundown of some of the more important specifications of the Pixel phones, including screen size, battery capacity and weight:


  • Operating System: Android 7.1 Nougat
  • Screen: 5.0” FHD AMOLED display (1920×1080)
  • Camera: Rear: 12.3MP camera
  • Front: 8MP
  • Processor: Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 821 2.15 Ghz + 1.6 Ghz, 64 Bit Quad-Core processor
  • Battery: 2770 mAh
  • Internal Memory: 32GB
  • Weight / Dimensions: 143g / 143.84mm x 69.54mm x 7.31mm

Pixel XL

  • Operating System: Android 7.1 Nougat
  • Screen: 5.5” QHD AMOLED display (2560×1440)
  • Camera: Rear: 12.3MP camera
  • Front: 8MP
  • Processor: Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 821 2.15 Ghz + 1.6 Ghz, 64 Bit Quad-Core processor
  • Battery: 3450 mAh
  • Internal Memory: 32GB
  • Weight / Dimensions: 168g/ 154.72 x 75.74 x 7.31mm


More Info

If you’d like a more detailed review of the new Pixel phones, check out MobileSyrup’s detailed article, detailing specs and hands on impressions.

For info on the available pricing of the phones through Telus, here’s a link for that as well. The phones are set to be released by Google on October 20th, with availability in-store soon to follow.

Apple announces the new iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, AirPods, and a new Apple Watch

Today Apple unveiled the new iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, as well as their new Apple Watch and wireless earbuds. If you missed the livestream of the presentation, here’s a quick wrap-up video posted by Apple showcasing all the new products in 107 seconds.



The phones themselves are confirmed to have upgraded storage options in relation to the previous iPhones; starting at 32GB of internal storage, and then jumping up to the 128GB and 256GB options. The phones also come in two ‘new’ darker colours; a sort of anodized Black and a new glossy option that Apple is calling Jet Black. The devices are also all IP67 rated, which is a welcome addition, making them the first ever iPhones to be water resistant.

If you would like to watch the full keynote in it’s entirety, here’s a link to their past broadcast: http://www.apple.com/apple-events/september-2016/

The phones are slated to be available September 16th. If you have any questions, you can always contact us by calling (780) 998-9551, or come into our store. We will update when more news becomes available.

Why Buy Your Sherwood Park Telus Phone from an Authorized Store?

With numerous retail stores online, shopping has never been as simple as it is today. If you want to get a new phone or tablet, you can go online and have it in a matter of seconds. There is no contesting the benefits that come with online shopping. For one, you can do it from wherever you are in Sherwood Park.

However, there are some cautionary measures that you have to keep in mind when shopping online for electronics. Among the plethora of retail stores you find, there is a fraction that is made up of untrustworthy dealers. It is essential that you buy your tablets, phones, or TVs from authorised dealers.

Read moreWhy Buy Your Sherwood Park Telus Phone from an Authorized Store?

Ensuring you Get Good Speed for Your Telus Internet Connection at Home

The Internet makes the world go round and having it in your home makes everything easy. A lot of people get home internet, so they don’t have to struggle when they need to go online. If you are considering getting internet for your Edmonton home, it is important you understand how to go about it.

There are various local options you can find when you want internet for your home. TELUS Internet is one. If you are doing this for the first time, it helps to have some information in hand. Talk to a Edmonton Telus internet representative if you wish to get answers to your concerns.

Read moreEnsuring you Get Good Speed for Your Telus Internet Connection at Home

Buying an iPhone on Contract: How Does It Benefit You, the Consumer?

Smartphones have made many changes on the communication front. The smartphone technology in use nowadays offers consumers myriad applications for various functions. The iPhone from Apple is one of the most popular phones on the market, with good reason.

You can get an iPhone to upgrade your current cell phone. When buying a wireless phone, one of the choices you have to make is whether to get a contract or not. That said, buying a cell phone on a contract has its benefits. In Fort Saskatchewan, you can get a TELUS iPhone with a 2-year contract.

Read moreBuying an iPhone on Contract: How Does It Benefit You, the Consumer?