Phishing and telemarketing fraud


Phishing is a fraud technique in which the scammers make their victims believe they are dealing with a trusted entity like a financial institution or government in order to steal personal information and money.

For example, you receive the following unsolicited e-mail or text message from a company you do business with:

XYZ Bank

Dear member,

The last time you logged in to XYZ’s on-line services, our system detected a user error.

This error may have happened because:

  • You forgot to log out
  • You forgot to close your Internet browser after your session
  • Your on-line session did not disconnect
  • You closed your Internet browser before completing the transaction
  • Your browser no longer meets the minimum requirements

The error in no way affects the security of your account. However, you must reactivate your on-line account by taking the following steps: Click here.

Scammers are always inventing new ways to get their hands on your money and may use a number of reasons to get what they want. For example:

  • “The company has been a victim of fraud.”
  • “Unusual transactions have been detected in your account.”
  • “A new law requires the institution to request that you update your personal information.”

If you click on a link in the e-mail or text message in order to fill out a form, you may see a replica of your institution's website. Any information you enter on this FAKE website would go directly into the fraudsters' database. The crooks would then be able to empty your account, steal your identity and cause you a lot of problems for years to come.

Some fraudsters add an attachment to their e-mail messages. When you click on it, malware is secretly downloaded to your computer or cell phone.

If you weren’t told about the message before you received it, immediately report the phishing attempt to the institution or organization involved. Make sure to use the telephone number on the institution’s or organization’s website, not the one in the e-mail message or text message.

Type the complete address for the website you want to visit.


To avoid this type of fraud

If you feel you must reply to a message with a hyperlink, use the contact information you have in your records. Above all else:

  • Don’t use the contact information provided in the unsolicited e-mail or text message.
  • Don’t open any attachments.
  • NEVER click on a link appearing in an unsolicited e-mail or text message asking you for banking or personal information before carrying out the necessary checks.
  • Don't be intimidated by an e-mail or text message warning you about the horrible things that will befall you if you do not follow the instructions provided.
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Telemarketing fraud

You receive a phone call from a stranger offering you a once-in-a-lifetime investment opportunity. In addition to yielding a much higher return than any other form of investment, the person tells you the investment carries no risk.

Fake voicemail messages

You have a voicemail message.

“Linda, it’s Paul. I lost your old number and Jane told me that this is your new one. I hope I got it right. Do you remember the guy who helped me with my investments? He gave my father a hot tip. The investment doubled in less than a month and, if I remember correctly, you were disappointed that I didn’t share the tip with you. Well, I have a new hot tip from my friend.

Company XYZ is about to launch a revolutionary product; it will be announced later this week. Now’s the time to buy shares: the price will soon increase dramatically. My friend says we have to invest right away. I’m buying some tomorrow and so’s my dad. I’m on the road today, so call my cell at XXX-XXXX. Talk to you soon.”

You don’t know Paul or Linda. The caller is trying to manipulate you. If you call the number left on your voicemail, you’ll be offered a (fraudulent) investment opportunity. If you take it, you’ll lose your money. The same message may have been left in thousands of voicemail boxes. This scam is also carried out via e-mail, text messaging and the Internet.


To avoid this type of fraud

  • Never invest over the phone if a stranger makes this type of unsolicited call. You could end up putting your money directly into the hands of fraudsters.
  • If you really want to invest, take steps to confirm the identity of the person you are speaking with. For example, call the person back at the number listed in our register (not the number they gave you).
  • Insist on being given documents that explain the investment. Make sure you read and understand them.
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