Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Throwback Thursday: Calvin Barry Represents the 'Chinese Warren Buffet'

With convicted fraudster Weizhen Tang in the news this week, as the OSC watchdog warned investors to stay away from him after he served 6 years in prison for fraud, we look back to 2009 when Calvin Barry represented Tang.

Monday, June 22, 2020

Wayback Wednesday: Calvin Barry Beats Rick Vaive DUI Charges. Not Guilty on all Charges

Watch Calvin discuss his client Rick Vaive being found not guilty on all his DUI charges. 

If you're looking for Toronto's best DUI lawyer, contact Calvin Barry today!

Thursday, June 4, 2020

Cases of Domestic Violence Increase During Pandemic Response as People Stay Home

COVID-19 has been shutting down businesses and entire cities, making people stay home in an effort to keep safe and halt the spread of the virus. However, as millions of Canadians stay home to help flatten the group, it is becoming more apparent that the home is not a safe place for a vulnerable group of individuals. People who are in an abusive home or abusive relationships have no choice but be confined at home with their abusers.

More Opportunities for Abuse

The CTV National News shared a story about a woman who told them that her home life has grown increasingly violent since physical distancing and self-isolation began becoming the norm. The woman’s husband is currently staying home from his job and has been more violent, prompting the woman to escape to a shelter with her two children in tow.

No Safe Place

Not all victims of domestic violence have access to shelters. With physical distancing protocols in place, shelters are in full capacity and had to turn away some abuse victims. Sakeenah Homes Shelter’s Zena Chaudry shared that they have been getting more calls about emotional abuse, financial abuse, and physical abuse. The same pattern is seen all over the world, with France reporting a 36% increase in cases of domestic abuse. Meanwhile, China reported that calls to their help lines increased three-fold and UK’s cases increased by 25%.

Urgent Actions Are Needed

In light of increased reports of domestic violence and abuse all over the world, United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres called for an immediate action by world leaders. He suggested that shelters should be classified as essential services during the pandemic plus make outreach groups and online services also available for those who may need them.
Do you know someone who is involved in a case of domestic violence? Proper legal representation by a domestic abuse lawyer is a must! Call Calvin Barry should you need a lawyer in Toronto who is well-versed in handling domestic violence cases. Contact Calvin Barry today.

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Millions of Coronavirus Scam Emails Are Being Blocked by Google Everyday

Google has been actively fighting off scam emails related to the COVID-19 pandemic and the latest report says the tech giant is blocking around 100 million coronavirus scam emails per day. The coronavirus emails are phishing attacks launched by scammers to collect data such as personal information from unsuspecting individuals. After collecting the information, the information will be used to hack accounts or to steal identities to commit more fraud.

Explosion of Phishing Attacks

Criminals are getting more creative and can even send emails that may seem like regular emails from banks, government offices, and billing companies. The latest scam email trend is to use the coronavirus pandemic as the email’s header to get people to click on an email and provide the information the scammers are looking for in order to commit fraud. It is estimated that there could be hundreds of millions of scam emails per day and Google is able to filter or block 100 million per day to protect the 1.5 billion people who are users of Gmail service.

Impersonation of the World Health Organization

What is particularly alarming is how the phishing emails would impersonate authorities and health agencies. A huge number of such emails are impersonating the World Health Organization to persuade people to donate to bogus causes or to download malware. Some emails sent by the cyber criminals imitate government institutions to capitalize on government support packages.

The Fight Against Fraudulent Email

Google is currently using their machine learning tools to block coronavirus phishing emails and they’ve been successful at blocking more than 99.9% of the emails from reaching their users. With this said, the emails are still around and increased significantly. In fact, several cyber security companies are currently looking into this and report that they’ve seen a 667% increase in phishing emails since the pandemic started.

Exploitation of Legitimate Fears and Concerns

Fraudulent emails could be from anywhere. There are some that are pretending to be from the UK government, some from those who are pretending to be from the CDC or Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, some that claim to be from specific politicians or world leaders, and some that claim to be from the World Health Organization. A rule of thumb for ignoring such emails is that if you are not signed up for an email service from a specific sender, then it is unlikely that they would have your contact details to send you emails.
No matter how important an email sounds like, if it is asking you to provide personal information, to download something on your device, or to log-in at an app or a website that you haven’t heard of, simply report the email as fraud and do not open any links on it. Remember that cyber criminals are banking on confusion, fear, and other emotional responses to try to get people to do what they want when they are most vulnerable.
Have you provided your information to a possible phishing email or downloaded a fake COVID-19 tracker app? Contact us today.

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Wayback Wednesday: Calvin Barry Weighs in on the Rob Ford Crack Scandal

2014 was a simpler time in Toronto, when our biggest news story was our crack smoking mayor. This Wayback Wednesday, we revisit this scandal in a Toronto Sun article featuring our very own Calvin Barry.

Full article test:

TORONTO - Punch drunk from revelation after revelation, there is one over arching question that seems to be ricocheting around the city.

With all the damning information that has emerged, why have no charges been laid against Mayor Rob Ford?

In these last tumultuous days alone, the imploding mayor has made some startling confessions: he’s smoked crack cocaine, he’s purchased illegal drugs during the last two years and he has indeed driven under the influence of alcohol.

And those are just his self-reported admissions of breaking the law. There are still the many other alleged episodes reported by Ford’s ex-staffers in explosive police interviews made public this week.

In these recently uncensored pages, there are at least two disturbing witness accounts of former staffers being in Ford’s vehicle while he was allegedly driving after consuming alcohol.

In the late spring of 2012, Jennifer Dwyer arrived at the mayor’s home to accompany him to an event. According to the court document, she texted another Ford employee to tell him the mayor was “impaired, driving very fast and that she did not know where she was going. Dwyer was scared in the vehicle.”

Former aide Chris Finkel told police he was a passenger in Ford’s Escalade on the way home from one of his high school football practices in the fall of 2012 when the mayor pulled over, grabbed a mickey of vodka out of an LCBO bag and in the space of two minutes, proceeded to chug it down between gulps of Gatorade. Ford then continued on his merry way.

Fickel was alarmed enough to wisely get out of the car. He said he regrets not reporting the incident.
Chief of Staff Earl Provost told investigators Ford was so intoxicated on the night of March 17, 2012 that he insisted on taking him home in a cab. But when the mayor got there, he got into his SUV and nearly struck the taxi as he speeded away.

The police themselves had Ford under surveillance this summer during Project Brazen — which is an interesting moniker in retrospect — and watched him having a boozy lunch before getting back behind the wheel “under the influence of alcohol and or drug but not to the state of impairment.”
How could they know that if they didn’t bother to pull him over?

“If #RobFord won’t resign, how much evidence is needed to press charges given his drinking & driving, drug use & other criminal acts?” asks Robert Zaichowski on Twitter.
How much indeed?

The mayor has even dared them. “If I did something illegal then arrest me,” Ford said in speaking to a radio interviewer 10 days ago. “Obviously, I haven’t.”

Police Chief Bill Blair will only say that his officers conduct their investigations and then place the evidence they gather before the Crown attorney to decide if charges are laid — which seems rather disingenuous considering police arrest people all the time using their own discretion.

But former Crown Calvin Barry explains that while “a lot of it is embarrassing and humiliating” there really isn’t enough here to make a charge stick against the mayor.

The allegations of drunk driving are simply hearsay, accusations made to police long after the fact. There’s no officer who stopped him, smelled alcohol or asked for a breath test. “You need evidence of impairment,” said Barry, now a defence lawyer. “Within hours, all the evidence evaporates.”

What about the admission of buying illegal drugs? Barry says a vague confession isn’t enough: the person would have to be specific about what kind of drug, when and where it was purchased. Police would have to have it tested to prove that it was really a narcotic and not some other substance. “We don’t have any of that here,” he said.

A current Crown attorney agreed, saying he also hasn’t seen enough to warrant a criminal charge. “There’s a very high threshold,” explained the prosecutor, who didn’t want his name used. “There’s no case here that you can prove beyond a reasonable doubt.”

But this Crown also predicts that may change in the near future.

“There’s some kind of play going on,” he said. “There must be something in the works. I can’t imagine this is the end of the show here.”

Spotting Phishing Scams Related to COVID-19

Not even an economy-stopping pandemic will stop fraudsters. As more nations feel the grip of the increasing health crisis, scammers are taking full advantage of the COVID-19 pandemic to send fake emails to people tricking hapless victims into clicking on malicious links or attachments and revealing their personal information.

COVID-19 Cyber Security Scam Alert

A COVID-19 phishing email looks like a normal email complete with authentic-looking logos and branding. They often use the World Health Organization’s branding or logos or use the same from other public or government health agencies. Know that phishing is not limited to email, as some fraudsters resort to calling Canadian homes with offers of fake laboratory testing or fraudulent requests for donations.

How to Avoid a COVID-19 Scam

Scammers will send emails that will attempt to get your personal information or install malware into your mobile device or computer. Some will look like a donation link designed to capture your credit card information. Take the following steps to avoid becoming a victim.
  • Practice skepticism. No matter how authentic looking an email may be, try to be more skeptic and nitpick details in the email. If the email contains email addresses, toll-free numbers, or website links, you can double check by using a known email address, website, or email of the organization to avoid clicking on fake links and contacting the scammers directly. If you want to verify some information, know that the right information will be posted on your provincial health agency’s website or the Public Health Agency of Canada website.
  • Always check the email address of the sender. Phishing emails use sender addresses or names that may look like the real thing, but if you hover on the sender’s name, the actual email doesn’t match the sender at all.
  • Avoid clicking on attachments or links. Embedded links in phishing emails seem valid, but the address it links to is definitely not. If the link address seems suspicious or does not seem connected to the highlighted text, there is a big possibility that it is a phishing email. If there are any attachments that aren’t expected or seem out of place, it might be infected with malware.
  • Be more vigilant. If an email is requesting for your financial information or personal data, that may be fake.
  • Make sure that your devices are protected. Installing anti-spam, anti-malware, anti-virus, and anti-spyware software can seem like being too cautious but you’ll be happy that you have them for protection in case of a possible attack.

What to do with a Phishing Email

You can’t avoid receiving phishing emails because they are everywhere. What you can do is either report them or delete/block them. You can report the email to the organization being spoofed so that they can issue the necessary warnings for other people. By blocking or deleting the email, you can save yourself some wasted time and headache down the road.
Aside from checking the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre for a compiled list of COVID-19 scams, you can stay tuned in this blog for more news on COVID-19 fraud. You can also check the government of Canada approved information regarding COVID-19 at