Fraud Prevention Tips

Fraud Prevention Tips

  • Be aware of what personal information is available about you online. Fraudsters may try to mine information about their targets online and can use information that is posted about a students’ location, family, pets, program of study, etc. to appear legitimate. Google yourself! You might be surprised by what is out there!
  • Ensure that your personal contact information (phone numbers, emails, social media login information, student number, home address) is secure and remains offline.
  • Be aware of social media postings that confirm your location to other users, in particular your residence (whether temporary or permanent).
  • Reviewing your social media platforms to ensure your security settings are up to date. When App Updates are pushed out, sometimes your security settings can be altered, without your knowledge. It is a good practice to review your security settings on the platforms you use from time to time to make sure that nothing has changed, or to upgrade to new security features that become available!
  • Be aware of receiving “offers” from people you do not know. This can include offers of employment (for jobs you never applied for), unsolicited offers for online romantic/sexual encounters, or receiving communications notifying you that you have won a contest or lottery that you didn’t apply for. If it sounds too good to be true, then it likely is.

Fraudsters develop elaborate stories and scenarios to make you believe they are legitimate. For example:

  • A call/email from someone posing as the legal department of Service Canada saying that there are charges that have been brought against you
  • A call/email from someone posing as a Service Canada representative indicating that your Social Insurance Number (SIN) has been blocked, compromised, or suspended
  • Threats from the caller indicating that a warrant for your arrest is outstanding and will be executed if payment is not made immediately
  • Threats from the caller indicating that you will lose your visa or status or be deported from the country if payment is not made immediately
  • Specific payment instructions which may include making Western Union or Money transfers, wire transfers overseas or taxis being sent to your home to facilitate transportation to your financial institution

Here is what you should know:

  • Don’t always trust your caller ID/call display on your phone. Scammers have ways to change call display to say things like “Police”, when in fact they are not legitimate.
  • Canadian Government Officials WILL NOT contact you directly and demand money in exchange for securing your Canadian status.
  • The Canadian Revenue Agency or Service Canada will NEVER request a payment by e-transfer, online currency such as bitcoin or pre-paid credit cards.
  • Government Officials won’t ask you to secure your money by transferring it to them via online currency like bitcoin.
  • If the Canadian Revenue Agency is sending you money, it will be by direct deposit or by cheque in the mail.
  • The Canadian Government DOES NOT accept payments via Western Union, Money transfer, prepaid Credit Cards, or through wire transfers to a foreign country.
  • The Canadian Revenue Agency or Government Officials will NEVER use aggressive language or threaten you with arrest or sending the Police.