March is Fraud Prevention month.
To help safe guard yourself
1. Do not give out personal information over the phone, through the mail, to someone coming to your door or over the Internet unless you have initiated the contact.
2. Guard your social insurance number. Ask to use other types of identifiers when possible, and don’t carry your SIN card. Be sure to keep it in a secure place.
3. Safeguard personal information in your home, especially if you are having service work done there, employ outside help, or have a roommate.
4. Protect your mail. Deposit outgoing mail in post office collection boxes or at your local post office. Promptly remove mail from your mailbox after it’s delivered.
5. Shred all documents you are discarding, including pre-approved credit applications received in your name, insurance forms, bank cheques and statements, and other financial information.
6. Monitor your credit file for potentially fraudulent activity.
“Scareware” scam warning
The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre has been receiving reports from Canadians who say their computers are being frozen or they have been “locked out” of their computers after receiving pop-up messages warning them their computer has been associated with child pornography. These warning messages, which claim to be from the RCMP or CSIS, tells the recipient to pay $100 dollars via Ukash so their computer can be “unlocked”.
These types of messages, commonly known as scareware, are designed to create such shock and anxiety that victims respond by sending money quickly.
If you receive one of these messages, please be aware that it is a scam – these messages are not being issued by th e RCMP. Last November, Ukash posted an alert on their website about a similar scam targeting residents in the United Kingdom. If you’ve been “locked out” of your computer, it’s an indicator that your system may have been infected with malware and you will need to take steps to address the problem.
Tips to protect yourself
• Never click on a pop up that claims your computer has a virus
• Update your anti-virus software often and scan your computer for viruses regularly
• Don’t click on links or attachments in e-mails sent to you by someone you don’t know
• Turn on your browser’s pop-up blocking feature
• Never download anti-virus software from a pop-up or link sent to you in an e-mail
If you’ve received a scareware message, please contact the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre (1-888-495-8501) to report it.
For more information please visit
Fraud: Recognize it. Report it. Stop it.