Out here, we make sure our friends are protected!
Every year, thousands of Canadians fall victim to fraud, losing millions to scammers. Fraud can come in many various forms, most commonly taking shape in the form of:
- Job and employment scams
- Medical and health scams
- Credit protection scams
- Emergency scams (also known as the grandparents scam)
- Money transfer request scam
- Charity scams
- Dating and romance scams
- Small business scams
Identity theft, phishing and insurance fraud are also other forms of fraud to look out for.
Our members’ security is one of our top priorities and there are several tools you can use to protect yourself from a potential threat. Here’s our top ten ways to protect yourself from fraud.
- Regularly change your email password: Email interactions sometimes leave enough information behind for an email hacker to use to compromise an account. Make sure you change your password regularly- – ideally twice a year.
- Sign up for alerts: Many credit unions offer security alerts. Members will receive an alert via text or email about any activity relating to risky transactions such as an e-transfer.
- 2-Step security: Many online services offer stronger authentication security. Consider turning these optional features on in your more sensitive online accounts. These might be called “2-Step Security” or “2nd Factor Authentication” or “2-Step Verification” or “Increased Authentication”.
- Secure computing: Consider accessing your sensitive online services (e.g. finances) only from dedicated secure devices, such as a work computer or a smartphone and in secure locations, not while using public Wifi. Family computers with many users can be easy targets for today’s easy-to-infect malware.
- Sign up for vacation alerts: Let your credit union know when you’ll be travelling to ensure your financial services are not delayed while enjoying your vacation Your account can be better protected against unauthorized access this way.
- Stay secure: Ensure your computer has an up-to-date malware scanner with real-time monitoring and removal capabilities. Find out more about being secure.
- Download Anti-Malware Software: Many institutions offer free financial anti-malware software; this service is highly recommended for all online banking users.
- When in doubt call: Your financial institution is here to protect you. If you are ever unsure or uncomfortable, give them a call.
- Log out after each session: A simple act such as clicking the “log-out” button rather than exiting the browser could save you in the long run, especially if you are accessing a public computer.
- Stay informed: Visit the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre for updates on recent scams and stay informed to protect yourself from fraud.
We’re here for our friends when they need us.
Whether it’s a friend of a friend or a relative, almost everyone knows someone who has been a victim of fraud. By following these ten tips we can reduce our chance of getting scammed and by sharing, we can also protect our friends.
Thank you to the Canadian Competition Bureau for the promotional banner at the beginning of this article.