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    March is Fraud Prevention Month

    March is Fraud Prevention Month

    Make sure to protect yourself from fraud online with these helpful tips and register for Online Alerts.
    Cyber risk is an increasing threat for Canadians as we spend more time online for everything we engage in. Scammers understand our banking, social media, entertainment etc. is utilized more and more in the digital space therefore they have adapted their methods in tricking Canadians out of their money. Due to this most Canadians are unsure how to protect themselves.

    We here at The Police Credit Union believe in taking care of our own and in order to accomplish that we’re providing you with some tips on avoiding certain scams.  
    Register for Online Alerts

    Register for Online Alerts

    Remember to register with us for Alerts via Online Banking. Just sign in and click the ‘Messages and Alert’s’ tab to help secure your account. It’s FREE and you’ll be notified when the following happens:

    • A new bill payee is added
    • Interac e-Transfer recipient is added
    • Your Personal Access Code was changed online
    • On-Line Banking locked after 3 attempts
    • Your On-Line account has been logged into

    Learn How To Identify a Scam and How to Take Action

    Click for any scam scenario below for more information

    Romance Scam

    These scams are increasingly popular as it uses methods to make the victim vulnerable by dropping their defenses.

    How To Spot a Fraudster

    • They will be quick to fall in love with you to set up a bond quickly.
    • Online they hold vague or few images across multiple social media platforms.
    • They ask for financial help by claiming they were in an accident, or they ask you to buy them a plane ticket so they can visit you.
    • They want to move away from the social media/dating site to a more personal communication platform such as email or text message.
    • They promise to see you, but you never meet them in person.  They cancel every time or offer excuses to delay meeting up claiming financial issues.
    • They dissuade you from discussing them or their situation to your friends or family.
    • They rarely (or never) have a live video conversation with you (i.e. Facetime or Skype).
    • They may ask you to invest in a new business venture or cryptocurrency.

    How To Combat

    • Do not share personal or financial information with anyone you just met online or in person.
    • Do not under any circumstance send money for any reason.
    • If you are asked to accept money via e-transfer, cheque, or with gift cards to then transfer elsewhere, do not accept to do so.
    • Move slow and ask lots of questions. A scammer’s intent is to prove the relationship as quickly as possible to gain trust.
    • If you are unsure of yourself talk to a trusted loved one.
    • Never send intimate photos of yourself and think twice before using a webcam.

    Password Scam

    In today’s day and age, we use many platforms which require passwords to access.  With more and more passwords the information becomes hard to manage and we get complacent saying to ourselves who would try to get my information?  You would be surprised how easily it can be done and that anyone can be a victim…including you.


    How To Spot

    • Meeting a stranger at work who is asking you personal questions like your birthday or address for no particular reason. 
    • Noticing someone ‘Shoulder Surfing’ you when you’re typing in a password.
    • Being on a website that is unsecure asking you to create an account using an email address and password.

    How To Combat

    • Don't use your name, date of birth, address or pet names. They can be used to guess passwords.
    • Look around before typing in your password to make sure no one is behind you.
    • Make sure you're on a secured network. Passwords can travel over a network and be intercepted.
    • Educate yourself on social engineering techniques which are used to trick people into giving their passwords.
    • Avoid writing passwords on sticky notes and plastering it on your laptop while connecting to Wi-Fi connections in a public setting such as a coffee shop or airport as they can be stolen.
    • When a One Time Password (OTP) is provided be sure not to share it with anyone.

    Phishing Scam

    This involves methods where scammers will try to get information out of you such as passwords and credit card numbers.  This can be done with individuals posing as representations of reputable companies to build a level or trust or authority.

    How To Spot

    • You receive and email or text from someone you believe you may know and it asks you to click a link, or give your password, bank account, or other personal information.
    • It’s urgent.  The message pressures you to act now – or something bad will happen.
    • It appears real.  It’s easy to copy logos and make up fake email addresses.  Fraudsters will use familiar company names or pretend to be someone you know.

    How To Combat

    • Don’t click on the link is the number one way to avoid a phishing scam.
    • Do not give any of your personal information if you did click the URL link to the site.
    • Rotate your passwords regularly as you may have been compromised in the past without knowing.
    • Avoid pop up ads that seem suspect i.e. an ad saying you just wont $10,000 click here. Most internet browsers have ad-blocker software that will automatically block most malicious pop-ups.
    Once you click the link, scammers can install malware or other programs on your device. If you share passwords, scammers now have access to all your accounts.

    Business Scams

    Cyber criminals don’t just target individuals.  They see opportunity in defrauding businesses as well.  They mostly do this by pretending your someone you know.

    How To Spot

    • A scammer may use an email address that closely resembles one of your vendors to send an invoice with updated banking information.
    • A scammer may impersonate a manager or supervisor and ask an employee to purchase gift cards or wire money to a bogus client.
    • Accounts payable staff are often main targets of vendor fraud.

    How To Combat

    • Always call a supplier or a vendor to confirm any changes that are requested via email that may be suspicious.
    • If an employee email seems suspicious do not reply. Give them a call or visit their office for more information.
    • Assess the cyber security of your business frequently for any gap’s scammers can take advantage of.
    • Make sure your data and any other stakeholder data is properly protected.
    • Use secure, traceable transactions when making payments for goods, services, debts and taxes.

    Subscription Traps

    Watch out for 'Free' trial offers on products and services that morph into subscriptions. The monthly charges you will accrue will be difficult to stop.

    How To Spot

    • Scammers will offer 'free' or 'low cost trials of products or services through websites, emails, social media platforms, and phone calls
    • Will use high pressure sales tactics like 'a limited time offer' and will try to rush you into making a decision
    • Some examples of commonly offered products are weight loss pills, pharmaceuticals, hemp oil, health foods, anti-ageing products, etc. 
    • They will ask for your credit card information to just cover the shipping costs to lock you into a monthly subscription

    How To Combat

    • Trust your instincts and ask if it's too good to be true
    • Research the company with online reviews and look for negative ones and use the Better Business Bureau as an additional resource
    • Don't sign up if you can't find or understand the terms and conditions
    • If you sign up for the free trial keep all documents including receipts, emails, and text messages
    • Check your credit card statements regularly for frequent or unknown charges
    • If you can not cancel your subscription contact your credit card provider, your local consumer protection organization, or law enforcement

    Pyramid Schemes

    These scammers will try to recruit you for fraudulent money making-ventures. Most people do not realize only those at the top of the pyramid get rich, while the rest earn little or no money. Rest assured the pyramid eventually collapses, but the scam artists that start it have made a fortune.

    How To Spot

    • Someone claiming to be apart of a company trying to persuade you to join and promises big financial returns
    • This person may be a family member or friend who is unaware they are in a pyramid scheme
    • They ask for a large membership fee to participate
    • The company focuses on you recruiting others and not from the sale of products
    • The products the company does sell have very little value
    • The scammer can not clearly explain how their business works
    • They will use high-pressure tactics to make you feel foolish if you don't invest

    How To Combat

    • Ask yourself if its to good to be true as people in general don't just show up and offer you an opportunity of a lifetime randomly
    • Remember that even if its someone you trust, including a family member, doesn't mean it isn't a scam (they may not even realize it themselves)
    • Do not commit to something at a high pressure meeting or seminar
    • Do not make a decision without doing some research on the company in question
    • Be on the lookout for compensation offers that focus on recruiting new members 
    If you suspect that you maybe the victim of a fraud or scam or you’ve been tricked into soliciting your personal information contact your local police service. If you believe you account with us may have been compromised then make sure to contact us immediately at 1.800.561.2557 or