What is phishing?

Phishing is a type of scam that fraudsters use to try to get your information through fake communications, such as emails, text messages or phone calls. The communications claim to be from a reliable source to get you to trust the sender. The emails and text messages often have similar designs to existing businesses they claim to be. Once the fraudsters get your information, they can steal your money or identity. They may include several claims or requests:

  • Ask you to confirm personal information
  • Claim to notice suspicious activity or sign-on attempts
  • Claim you're eligible for government relief or tax refunds
  • Offer you free products, services or money  
  • Tell you to select a link to make a payment or receive money

Review examples of fraudulent emails and text messages

Learn about different forms of phishing

Fraudsters send emails with malicious links to get information through downloads or links. These emails copy a business' design brand and style to make them appear legitimate from someone you know. 

Fraudsters send text messages from what seem to be legitimate sources. These text messages include malicious links or phone numbers to steal your personal and banking information. This is also known as SMS phishing.

Fraudsters send emails to specific people in an organization to get more data and hack their systems. These emails are usually personalized to make you believe you have a relationship with the sender.

Fraudsters try to have a phone conversation claiming to be from a reputable company. The call is often an automated voice message stating you owe money to the government or a financial institution. This is also known as voice phishing. 

Protect yourself from phishing scams

  • Don't respond to urgent or threatening language that pressures you to respond quickly. 
  • Be wary of anyone asking for personal information. Don’t give it out unless you know who you're dealing with.
  • Don't select any attachments or links from suspicious emails and text messages.
  • Search for spelling or grammar errors and incorrect website names or sender email addresses.
  • Protect your devices by installing antivirus software or a speak to your mobile service provider to see if they offer port protection for your SIM card. 
  • Ensure your internet browser is up to date, as this can help detect fake or unsafe websites.

Our promise for your money

If you've been affected by fraud and have met your responsibilities to keep your accounts safe, we'll help you get your money back. To learn more about the security guidelines for your accounts, review our Digital Banking Guarantee.

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Explore more resources about phishing

Get cyber safe: Phishing Opens in a new window.

Learn how to recognize and protect yourself from phishing scams.

Canada Revenue Agency Opens in a new window.

Protect yourself by being aware of scammer tactics and take action against fraud.

Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre Opens in a new window.

Report fraud when it happens and track the latest data on fraud happening in Canada.