Scammers are getting increasingly clever in their attempts to get your money or personal information. Be alert and protect yourself from being scammed by following our tips.
Scams and Fraud
Scams can happen Anywhere, at Anytime, to Anyone
Scams happen on the phone, through the mail, e-mail, and over the internet. They can occur in person, at home, or at a business. Learn how to protect your identity and finances against scams and hackers.
Know who you are dealing with.
- If you’ve only ever met someone online or are unsure of the legitimacy of a business, take some time to do a bit more research.
- If a message or email comes from a friend and it seems unusual or out of character for them, contact your friend directly to check that it was really them that sent it.
Do not open suspicious texts, pop-up windows or click on links or attachments in emails – Delete them!
- If unsure, verify the identity of the contact through an independent source such as a phone book or online search. Don’t use the contact details provided in the message sent to you.
Do not respond to phone calls about your computer asking for remote access – Hang up!
- Scammers will often ask you to turn on your computer to fix a problem or install a free upgrade, which is actually a virus which will give them your passwords and personal data.
Beware of any requests for your details or money.
- Never send money or give credit card details, online account details or copies of personal documents to anyone you don’t know or trust.
Be wary of unusual payment requests.
- Scammers will often ask you to use an unusual payment method, including preloaded debit cards, gift cards, or virtual currency such as Bitcoin.
Be careful when shopping online.
- Beware of offers that seem too good to be true, and always use an online shopping service that you know and trust.
If you can spot a scam, you can stop a scam.
Scams succeed because they look like the real thing and catch you off guard when you’re not expecting it. Having a few examples of possible fraud in mind can make it easier to spot them. Consider the signs below as red flags to watch for.
Spot a fake document
Documents are easily faked. Some will look just like the real thing but others might have warning signs, such as:
- Generic rather than personal greeting.
- Names of organizations that don’t exist.
- Poor grammar and spelling.
- Overly official or forced language.
Spot a fake email
Scammers can easily fake an official-looking email, using the same logo and design as the real company. Often your guard is down when you receive an email from a company you’ve dealt with before. If you’re not expecting an email, always be alert to a fake before clicking on any links or opening any attachments. Here are other signs to watch out for:
- Urgent action demands.
- Poor grammar and spelling errors.
- Requests for login credentials, payment information and sensitive data.
- Offers that are too good to be true.
- Suspicious or unsolicited attachments.
- Inconsistencies in email addresses, links and domain names.