When it comes to Your Money, you and only you should be able to access funds in your name. Be aware that criminals are trying hard to get their hands on Your Money through scams, fraud and theft. Review the “scam” and identity theft scenarios below for awareness of common tricks to obtain illegal access to Your Money. Then take a look at the links to resources that can help you keep it safe.
Advanced fee scams
You receive an e-mail requesting help with an urgent business transaction, which involves transferring a large sum of money out of a foreign country. When you send a smaller “advanced fee” to help secure the transaction, the money sent disappears along with the scammer.
When you're selling something or renting property, criminals contact you and make inquiries until you agree to a deal. They then send a cheque or money order for an amount higher than the price you agreed on and ask you to send back the difference. When you cash the cheque and send the money, you find that it's rejected a few days later and you've lost the amount you sent.
Fraudulent e-mail messages and websites that closely resemble a legitimate organization trick you into revealing personal information. A bank would never ask its customers for personal information such as account numbers, passwords or PINs through e-mail.
A phone or e-mail message warns you of a security alert and asks you to call a number. A voicemail system prompts you to enter personal and banking information. This gives your bank account access info to the criminals.
Scammers phone and talk you into providing personal information or persuade you to pay a fee to win a prize or obtain a credit card. Winners of a legitimate prize and potential credit cardholders never have to pay a fee beforehand.
Identity theft is when a criminal accesses your means of identification (whether you're aware of it or not) and illegally assumes your identity. Identity thieves can take Your Money and run up bills in your name, such as a cell-phone bill or credit card account. Here are some possible scenarios when identity theft can take place:
- Callers or automated machines asking you to key in your credit card or bank number
- E-mail requests or websites requesting your personal information
- Someone steals your ID cards or asks for your banking password in person
- While sharing personal information with your friends over social networks, others read what you've written
What to do about it
- Keep personal information private: shred or cut up papers bearing personal information
- Keep your ID cards safe and don't carry more than you need
- Don't share passwords or PINs with anyone
- Be creative in selecting a PIN, avoiding use of your telephone number, birthdate, etc.
- Cover your PIN when entering the numbers at an ABM or payment terminal
- Report suspicious problems with account statements
- Ensure the “memorize passwords” function or “auto-complete” is disabled when conducting online banking