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Tips and Tricks to avoid fraud.

Send money safely.

We all have a role to play in keeping our financial activity secure:

  • Exercise caution when it comes to sending or receiving money. 
  • Only send money to people you know and trust, just as you would cash. An Interac e-Transfer transaction cannot be reversed once a recipient has deposited the funds. 
  • Set up Interac e-Transfer Autodeposit for ease and added security. 
  • If you don’t have Interac e-Transfer Autodeposit set up, always use a strong password that can’t easily be guessed or found – and make sure you share it via a safe channel. 

Buying from online ads or marketplaces.

Take the same precautions you would with cash purchases. Be sure to read any guidelines or policies for protecting yourself as outlined by the website you are accessing. Tips include but are not limited to:

  • Meet the seller face-to-face in a public place.
  • Don’t include the answer to the security question in the question itself.
  • If looking at leasing a rental unit, visit the unit before sending money.
  • Don’t disclose the Interac e-Transfer reference number (starts with CA) to anyone, even if they ask.
  • Use vigilance at all times – remember, once an Interac e-Transfer transaction is accepted by the recipient it can’t be reversed.
  • Keep your email passwords safe and difficult to guess.

Think you’ve encountered a payment scam? 

STOP: Take a moment to stop, think and follow your instincts.

Whether it’s a money transfer you weren’t expecting, an email asking for your personal information, or a charity you haven’t heard of pressuring you to make a donation, you should be on the alert. 

SCRUTINIZE: Assess the situation and look for the telltale signs of a scam.

Becoming aware of the techniques fraudsters frequently use could be your best defence. Make use of online resources, including the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre, to stay up to date on scams and how to spot them.

SPEAK UP: Confirm the validity and report any concerns.

If you suspect fraud, contact the sender of the communication through a different channel. If you’ve already provided sensitive information to a fraudster, you should immediately contact your bank or financial service provider through the number listed on their website or on the back of your payment card and report it to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre. 

Common Scams

  • Online Ponzi schemes

    In this complex scam, fraudsters send unsolicited messages to unsuspecting victims through popular social media platforms, asking people to send money using Interac e-Transfer to various email accounts to fund a fake “portfolio”. They promise high returns and the opportunity to track progress on a phony “live” dashboard. Then, when investors request to withdraw their funds, they ask victims to provide an additional percentage of their balance to pay for bogus administration fees.

    Things to remember: Be wary of enticing promises of high returns with low risk and a consistent flow of profits, regardless of market conditions. Moreover, always ensure that Interac e-Transfer requests originate from sources you recognize and trust.

  • Blackmail for Bitcoin

    In this new elaborate scheme, scammers use blackmail to demand payment in crypto. Authorities have issued warnings about this trend, where various threats are made to coerce individuals into sending crypto payments under different excuse.

    Things to remember: Urgent, threatening messages.

  • Romance scam / untrue love

    When a fraudster poses as a romantic interest either in real life or online, it’s called a “romance scam.” You may begin to suspect one is afoot when your new(ish) love interest asks for money for travel or to deal with an emergency. Eventually, they disappear and never repay any money owed.

    Things to remember: Be very careful about lending money to anyone you haven’t known very long, even if you’ve become close.

  • Text fraud

    Today, everything is just a click away on our phones – even text fraud. Financial scams by SMS text, also known as smishing, are becoming much more sophisticated and, unfortunately, easier to fall prey to. Smishing scammers use text messages to demand money for alleged unpaid fines, to redeem fake cash rewards, or by pretending to be a close friend in need. Their aim is to manipulate unsuspecting people into sharing personal information or even convincing them to invest in sketchy schemes, resulting in identity theft or payment fraud.

    Things to remember: Be alert to strange, out-of-the-blue texts that appear to be from legitimate businesses or (fake) casual friends. When uncertain, don’t text back, share personal information, or click any links in texts. Instead, label suspicious texts as junk and report smishing to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre via 1-888-495-8501.

  • Personal information on social media

    In today’s digital age, phone numbers added to social media profiles can be susceptible to misuse. Hackers can scoop up personal phone numbers from social media platforms and add them to a database on the dark web. Sharing your phone number publicly increases the risk of potential fraud.

    Things to remember: Be mindful of sharing personal details online. Protect your data by not providing your phone number, address, age, and the names of your loved ones on your social media channels.

  • Employment scams

    Remote recruitment has seen a significant surge, with projections indicating that a substantial portion of professional jobs in North America will continue to be remote. This trend presents a convenient environment for scammers. These scams typically involve getting the target to send an image of a sensitive document to verify their identity or demanding ‘an application fee’.

    Things to remember: Be wary of employers asking you to deposit your own money into a cryptocurrency machine or account, or if they request personal details such as a copy of your driver’s license or social insurance security number.

  • Work from home

    This scheme often involves targeting remote workers with spam and phishing scams, using sophisticated techniques, such as personalized WhatsApp messages that appear to come from coworkers and are not easily recognized as spam. Falling for it often results in downloading harmful malware.

    Things to remember: Avoid emails that claim to be from your colleagues (or your boss) that direct you to external websites – check the URL carefully by hovering over it before you click. Contact your IT department when in doubt.

  • Rental scam

    In a rental scam, someone poses as a landlord and says they’re not available at the moment. Or the scammer poses as an intermediary for an absent landlord. Either way, they demand an apartment-seeker pay a deposit on an attractive-looking rental, often through a money transfer. The would-be tenant discovers there isn’t actually a rental – and the deposit is gone.

    Things to remember: Avoid “landlords” who don’t want to meet in person. Never give money for a security deposit.

  • Fraudulent lenders

    In this scam, fraudsters with slick-looking websites take advantage of people in tough financial situations by offering phony loans. They request an “activation fee” and promise quick access to funds; afterwards, however, the loan ends up being fake, and the fraudster will vanish after receiving the funds.

    Things to remember: Beware of upfront “activation fees” and unreasonably favourable interest rates. Remember, if something seems too good to be true, it often is.

  • Bank investigator fraud

    In this scheme, fraudsters contact unsuspecting victims via phone calls, claiming to be representatives from financial institutions, online merchants, and even law enforcement agencies. Criminals posing as bank investigators manipulate victims into assisting in supposed fraud investigations, promising to trace and return money, and persuading victims to withdraw significant cash amounts. Scammers may also ask victims to deposit fraudulent checks, wire them money, or meet in a parking lot to hand over cash.

    Things to remember: Beware of disruptive calls requesting help to catch a supposed bank employee stealing money from your bank account. Your best response is to hang up and protect your private banking info.

Protect yourself in the digital world.

Digital fraud is evolving and can pose a risk across various financial scenarios.  

 Stay vigilant and empower yourself with the knowledge that can help you spot scams and protect your personal data and cybersecurity. 

Take a step towards becoming the first line of defence against online fraud. Discover insights into common scams, learn to identify digital fraud, and explore practical tips and resources for protecting your personal data through digital security checkups.

  • Disclaimer

    The information provided on this page is for general information purposes and, while the information presented is believed to be factual and current, it does not constitute a complete analysis of the subject matter discussed. No endorsement of any third parties or their advice, information, products or services is expressly given or implied by Interac Corp.


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