March Is Fraud Prevention Month In Canada

Do you know how to stay protected?

Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Knowing the signs and learning how to protect yourself from fraud is your best bet to stay safe. 

First and foremost, be wary. Don’t be afraid to hang up the phone, ignore an email or close your internet connection – and please, never be fooled by the offer of a valuable prize in return for a low-cost purchase.

Because of how integrated the internet is in our lives today, scams, hacks, identity theft and many more dangers on the internet are real and all too common. 

When checking your EMAIL, something may be phishy if: 

  • You don’t recognize the sender’s name or email address.
  • There are a lot of spelling and grammar errors. 
  • The sender requests your personal or confidential information 
  • The sender makes an urgent request with a deadline or the offer sounds too good to be true.
  • Also watch out for pop ups, attachments, hidden links and spoofed websites.  

To prevent yourself from E-TRANSFER INTERCEPTION, you can:

  • Register for auto deposit.
  • Always select secure security questions that only you and the recipient would know the answer to, and would be hard to guess.
  • Be aware of unexpected transfers.
  • Be careful with social media. Giving too much information on social media and using that information in passwords or security question answers can make your accounts an easy target.   

PASSWORD SAFETY is paramount for staying safe online. Statistics show that over 50% of Internet users use the same password for all or most of their accounts and sites. It is an easy mistake to make. With so many sites asking for a password, users tend to pick just one that they can remember. However, by doing so, you’re placing yourself in danger of having your personal information becoming insecure. When creating a new password, make sure:

  • It is at least 12 characters long.
  • It contains uppercase, lowercase, numbers, and symbols.

For example, instead of JoanneandBruce1971 use J0@nn3@ndBruc31971 to make it more complex and harder to guess. During a cyber-attack, a hacker can easily expose potentially millions of user passwords and information. When you use the same password for all your accounts, then hackers can gain access to any account they deem valuable, including your bank account!

Letting your browser remember passwords can be risky. When you do, it’s easy to view actual passwords. This is especially important to remember for websites with sensitive information such as CRA and Financial Institutions. For better security and greater convenience, use a dedicated password vault instead. 
For PHONE SCAMS, you must remember there is no prize, you will not be arrested, and, if it’s legitimate, you will not be rushed or required to keep it a secret.

  • Avoid answering calls from unknown numbers and don’t return calls from numbers you cannot identify.
  • Never give out sensitive personal information over the phone if you cannot verify their legitimacy.
  • Never send payment in any form to someone on the phone who you don’t know. A sure sign of a phone scam is when the caller asks for payment by gift card, bitcoin, or a money wire. 

 is faster and more convenient than ever. Unfortunately, where there’s a fast flow of cash, there will inevitably be people looking to steal it. Do your homework! Don’t give out valuable information or make a purchase without really inspecting the vendor. How trusted is the company, and are you making your purchase through appropriate channels?

Always remember:

  • Protect yourself from dumpster divers! Bank statements, credit card bills, cheques, old tax returns and any other statements that have important personal information should be shredded when you’re done with them. 
  • Check your credit report annually and report any issues right away. Better safe than sorry! 
  • Until you know a business is 100% legitimate, never disclose your financial information, credit card numbers, driver’s license number or any bank information.  

If you suspect you’re a victim of fraud, contact your Financial Institution immediately and report it to your local police. If you’re a YNCU member, contact our Service Excellence Centre at 1-888-413-YNCU at the first sign of fraud. Know that you are not alone. We are here to help! 

You can also contact the Canadian Anti-Fraud Call Center at 1-888-495-8501. Help us prevent fraud by sharing these tips to look out for with your friends and family!