Scams Alert

With this scam, victims get a call from someone pretending to be from Service Canada or another government agency, saying their social insurance number (SIN) has been blocked, compromised or suspended. Typically, the person on the line will ask for your SIN and other personal information, such as date of birth, address, etc.

Don’t Fall For It! Victims who provide their personal information to fraudsters are at risk of identity fraud. The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) and other government agencies do not conduct business this way. The CRA does not request or issue payment by e-Transfer, gift cards or digital currency.
Fraudsters will send a phishing email which appears to be your service provider offering you free data or something similar – and a link for you to claim your “prize”. The link asks for personal information to update your cellular account profile. Fraudsters will then contact your service provider and using that information, gain access to your phone. If you have your bank accounts, social media accounts, email accounts – they can now gain access to the everything you have on your mobile device.

Don’t Fall For It! If you receive an email from your service provider with an offer, call them to verify it’s real.
This scam typically preys on victims looking for extra cash. Fraudsters offer loans and then either take personal information or demand a “startup fee” and begin to demand payments for funds you will never receive.

Don’t Fall For It! Be cautious and only seek loans from credible sources and financial institutions.

With this scam, victims receive a text or email message appearing to be a legitimate e-Transfer. It will direct you to click on a link to retrieve a refund. Once you click on the link, you will be directed to enter your online banking information in order to accept the e-Transfer. The fraudsters behind this scam then capture your banking credentials and the website may also upload malicious software to your mobile device.

Don’t Fall For It! Delete the message immediately.

Scammers are creating fake ads that will direct people to websites that may offer counterfeit, or products that are inferior to real, quality products. Do your due diligence and research the “companies” you are buying products from, research the websites if you are not familiar with them.

Don’t Fall For It! Be wary of deals that appear to be too good to be true. Stick with the well-know vendors and websites to do your online shopping.
Scammers prey on people that are buying or selling products online into thinking they are dealing with a legitimate contact but it is actually a scammer.
Scammers will pose as genuine buyers/sellers and post fake ads on classified websites. While many online sellers are legitimate, unfortunately, scammers often use the anonymous nature of the internet to rip off unsuspecting shoppers.   
Be wary of the overpayment scam when selling an item online. The scammer will contact you, make an offer – often quite generous and then send you a cheque as payment. The cheque will be greater than the agreed price to cover “shipping fees”. Before the cheque has been cleared by your financial institution, the scammer will contact you and request a “refund”. Typically, the cheque is then returned as counterfeit.

Don’t Fall For It! Consumers need to be vigilant when buying and selling online. If you are not familiar with a particular seller, independently verify who they are.
 A fraudster could use the name of a legitimate organization to try to collect cash. It is difficult to detect a charity scam so consumers should be diligent in checking the Canada Revenue Agency website to see if the charity is registered before providing any personal or financial information.

Don’t Fall For It! Watch for high-pressure phone tactics, door-to-door canvassers who are pushy and unsolicited emails. Be wary of receiving calls from “charities” that want your personal information. The best way to avoid charity scams is to think about what charities are most important to you, do some research and donate directly to the charities. Do not wait for some person to call you or knock on your door!
  • Don’t trust call display. It may say Service Canada, another government agency, a local business, or police. Fraudsters disguise the number seen on the ID display in order to trick victims into answering the phone and trusting the caller.
  • If you receive a call from a person saying they represent a company or government agency and asking for personal information, hang up and call the number on your account statement, or the company or government agency’s website to verify.
  • NEVER provide personal information such as your SIN, account numbers, banking information,  passwords or other identifying information in response to unexpected calls.
  • Keep your personal information personal. It is as simple as not publishing your date of birth on social media.
  • Register your number on the National Do Not Call List!/
  • If you accidentally fill out personal information in a link from a phishing scam, change your online banking password and contact your financial institution immediately.
  • Avoid the temptation to connect to free Wi-Fi, or if you do, never enter personal or financial information. Verify the name of the connection before joining, scammers often set up fake hotspots.
  • Always use antivirus software and a firewall. Protect your computer and mobile devices by using anti-virus software and a firewall from a reputable company.
  • Take the time to think about a situation and ask questions before acting on it. If in doubt, contact your local Crossroads Credit Union branch, the RCMP or the CAFC (Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre 1-888-495-8501)
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