Fraud

A little know-how goes a long way

Here are a couple quick tips to help keep your assets safe and make sure your online banking & shopping is secure.

Common fraudulent activities include:

Find more information in our Knowledge Centre.

Common Scams

Fraud Alert - Counterfeit Money Comox Valley Comox Valley has been seeing some counterfeit money floating around and the RCMP have made an arrest. The article doesn't state the type of bills being used, but it's a great reminder to be on the lookout for any funny looking money.

Read more about it.

Identity theft happens when someone obtains your personal information and uses it to open accounts, apply for credit, or take out loans or mortgages in your name or even withdraw funds from your bank account.

Your credit can be affected before you even realize it! Fraudsters can also obtain fake passports and other government benefits in your name just by using your personal information. They may even sell your information to other criminals. What does personal information include?  Driver’s license, date of birth, health card number, social insurance, credit number (including your PIN). Any information that identifies you as you! Never take the security of your personal data for granted.

Red flags

  • You are no longer receiving your bills in the mail
  • You see transactions you did not make on your credit card or bank statement
  • You are declined for loans or credit even though you have a good credit score/you are approved for a loan or credit card with a higher interest rate

Tips to protect yourself

  • Shred all documents containing personal information such as old statements and bills
  • Avoid public computers or Wi-Fi to access personal information or accounts. These are not secure and can put you at risk!
  • Create strong and unique passwords for each and every online account. Passwords protect your devices and home Wi-Fi network
  • Be aware of suspicious looking emails and text messages. Fraudsters will create emails and websites that look similar to your bank, credit card company, or mortgage lender
  • Be social media savvy and don’t overshare. Use privacy controls on social media sites
  • Avoid giving out any personal information over the phone, text message, email or the internet
  • Use a secure and reputable payment service when buying online. Use URL starting with’ https’ and a closed padlock symbol
  • Review your bank and credit card statements monthly
  • Limit the number of credit cards you carry in your wallet. This will minimize the impact if your wallet is stolen
  • Remember neither CRA or your financial institution will ask you to provide personal information by email or over the phone

If you are a victim of identity theft

  • Notify your financial institution and the local police
  • Contact the CRA at 1-800-959-8281 & Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre
  • Report the theft to a credit reporting agency such as Equifax or TransUnion
  • Keep records of recent purchases, payments, and financial transactions
  • Call 1-800-O-Canada (1-800-622-6232) for information on where and how to replace identity cards such as your health card, driver’s license, or SIN if necessary
  • To report a fraudulent communication, or if your identity was stolen as part of a scam, please contact the Royal Canadian Mounted Police’s Phonebusters by email at info@phonebusters.com or call 1-888-495-8501

Online Shopping & Auction Scams – Not all online vendors are reputable! The typical shopping scam starts with a bogus website, mobile app or social media ad. They offer popular items at a fraction of the usual cost & promise perks like free shipping and overnight delivery.  If a discount sounds too good to be true, it probably is!

Red flags

  • Bargain-basement prices
  • Shoddy website design or sloppy English
  • Limited or suspicious contact options – for example, they only have fill-in contact form, or the customer-service email is a Yahoo or Gmail account, not a corporate one
  • URLS with extraneous words or characters (most stores use only their brand name in web addresses) or unusual domains – for example; bargain, app or a foreign domain instead of .com or .net

Tips to protect yourself

  • Buy from companies or individuals you know by reputation or from past experience
  • Check reviews and beware of sites that don’t have any!
  • Read the refund & return policies carefully, including the fine print
  • Use a credit card when shopping online, many offer protection and may give you a refund
  • Do some research and Google the store name with the word ‘scam’ behind it and see what comes up
  • Never make a deal outside the auction site

Report fraud Scams can touch anyone, anywhere, at any time. If you or a family member have been contacted by a scammer, report it to Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre — even if you didn't give them any money. If you or a family member did lose money, please contact the local police as well.

Romance scams cost Canadians more than $18.3 million in 2019, surpassing all other forms of fraud in terms or money lost according to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre. It is reported as the number 1 scam in Canada in terms of dollars lost. Scammers will create fake online profile to attract their victims. They might be using a fictional name, or have stolen the identity of real people. They will go to great lengths to gain their victims interest and trust

Red flags

  • It seems too good to be true
  • They paint a picture of an extravagant lifestyle or career
  • They want to communicate personally through email or another message service and not on the originally site you met on
  • You may have to pay for each message you send and receive on the new site
  • They want to rush the dating process and move the relationship along quickly
  • They talk a lot about trustTheir profile picture is a generic image
  • They postpone meeting or video chat because they are traveling or live overseas
  • They may make spelling, grammatical errors, or use phrases that don’t make sense
  • Scammers may hint at financial troubles, they may share a ‘hard luck’ story from their past
  • The ultimate red flag: They ask for money!

Tips to protect yourself

  • Never send money or give financial details on a dating site
  • Trust your instincts!
  • Ask questions, carefully read the terms and conditions before signing up for any online dating site
  • Use legitimate and reputable dating sites
  • Check websites addresses carefully! Scammers often mimic real web addresses
  • Know which services are free, which cost money, and how to cancel your account
  • Use their profile photo in a reverse image search to see where else it appears on the internet
  • Always talk to a trusted loved one before you send money to people you have met online

Report fraud Scams can touch anyone, anywhere, at any time. If you or a family member have been contacted by a scammer, report it to Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre — even if you didn't give them any money. If you or a family member did lose money, please contact the local police as well.