Sidestepping Fraudsters - Part 2

Mar 01, 2019

Let’s be honest, even Jeff Bezos, the CEO of Amazon, has fallen victim to a type of scam so if you have fallen prey, you are one of many million others.

That means it is even more important to try to sidestep the moves of the fraudsters out there. Here are our tips to do just that:

Always have a password ... just not that one

First and foremost HAVE A PASSWORD. Not only on your computer but your phone as most people have more personal information on their phones than on their computer. When making a password, avoid using the security login function that requires you to draw a familiar shape. Because while you might not realize it, constantly swiping in a triangle formation has probably left a faint, triangle-shaped smudge on your phone that anyone can easily use to open it. Watch those numbers-based passwords, too -- don't make your password "000000" or "Password" or "1234" or something that easy for a hacker. Finally, as you have probably heard time and time again, do not use the same password for everything.

Don’t use UNSECURED public WIFI

It is convenient, but one of the biggest threats with free WiFi is the ability for hackers to position themselves between you and the connection point. So, instead of talking directly with the hotspot, you end up sending your information to the hacker. The hacker also has access to every piece of information you send out—emails, phone numbers, credit card information, business data, the list goes on. And once a hacker has that information, you’ve basically given them the keys to the kingdom.

  • Use safe and secure WiFi connections and avoid public WiFi. Your standard 3G or 4G connection is often more secure than the one in the coffee shop or restaurant.
  • Make sure any websites you are using are secure. Check to see if the web address starts with HTTPS, not just HTTP.
  • Antivirus software, it actually works

    Keep operating system and virus protection software up-to-date. Don’t ignore updates as these can often include patches to protect against new kinds of scams, viruses and ransomware. This goes for mobile devices as well.

    Spot imposters

    Scammers often pretend to be someone you trust, a family member, a charity, or a company you do business with. Don’t send money or give out personal information in response to an unexpected request — whether it comes as a text, a phone call, or an email.

    Do online searches

    Type a company or product name into your favorite search engine with words like “review,” “complaint” or “scam.” Or search for a phrase that describes your situation, like “CRA call.” You can even search for phone numbers to see if other people have reported them as scams.

    Don’t believe your caller ID

    Technology makes it easy for scammers to fake caller ID information, so the name and number you see aren’t always real. If someone calls asking for money or personal information, hang up. If you think the caller might be telling the truth, call back to a number you know is genuine.

    Talk to someone

    Before you give up your money or personal information, talk to someone you trust. Con artists want you to make decisions in a hurry. They might even threaten you. Slow down, check out the story, do an online search, consult an expert — or just tell a friend.

    Hang up on robocalls

    If you answer the phone and hear a recorded sales pitch, hang up and report it. These calls are illegal, and often the products are bogus. Don’t press 1 to speak to a person or to be taken off the list; that could lead to more calls.

    Be skeptical about free trial offers

    Some companies use free trials to sign you up for products and bill you every month until you cancel. Before you agree to a free trial, research the company and read the cancellation policy ... and always review your monthly statements for charges you don’t recognize.


  • If it’s credit card, debit card, or cheque fraud, immediately contact your bank, financial institution or credit card company
  • Report it to local police and to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at 1-888-495-8501
  • Call Equifax Canada at 1-800-465-7166 or TransUnion Canada at 1-877-525-3823 to issue a fraud alert
  • Contact your home insurance provider as some include identity theft coverage. This can cover the legal and other costs associated with regaining your identity
  • Pamela Coquet
    Financial Strategist with Savanti Wealth

    Missed the first article in this two-part series?
    Click here to read it.

    Want some more information? Send us an email or give us a call and we can help you at or (403)968-8443

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