Quick tips to protect yourself

Recognize the signs that something is amiss

Know who’s behind the keyboard

Don’t act too quickly
Make sure it’s real

Red flags and common scams 

Transfer method 

This type of scam involves a request to wire money electronically using a money transfer service or cryptocurrency. Once the money is sent it’s typically impossible to get it back.

Sounds too good to be true

Promises of an overseas inheritance or winnings from contests you don’t remember entering probably means the offer isn’t quite what it seems. These types of scams often require some sort of payment or tax up front before the funds can be released.

Urgency or secrecy

Fraudsters will encourage immediate action so that you don’t have time to think rationally or to investigate the legitimacy of the request. Take your time and talk to a trusted contact.

Personal information request

Fraudsters might ask you to provide more personal or financial information than would be required for a legitimate transaction or discussion such as PINs, passwords, social insurance number, driver’s license number or passport number.

Spelling mistakes

Be skeptical of emails, messages or website addresses with misspelled common words, grammatical errors that make the message difficult to read or expressions that are used incorrectly.

Romance scams 

Keep your guard up and look out for potential scammers who’ll try to lower your defenses by appealing to your romantic and compassionate side. They operate on popular, legitimate dating sites, as well as on fake ones. 

Tip: Don’t send money to someone you’ve never met.

Emergency scams 

Emergency frauds usually target grandparents, taking advantage of their emotions. The typical scam starts with a grandparent receiving a phone call from someone claiming to be their grandchild. They go on to say they’re in trouble and they need money immediately. The caller will ask you questions, getting you to reveal personal information and swear you to secrecy.

Tip: Before sending money, reach out to confirm if the request is real. Use the phone number you have in your contact list and not the one originally provided in the request. Don’t be shy to discuss the situation with a trusted friend or family member before sending money.

Tax scams 

Tax scams typically involve getting a text message or an email from the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) claiming you’re entitled to an extra refund and all you need to do is provide your banking details. If you get a call, letter, email or text saying you owe money to the CRA, you can double check online in “My Account” on the CRA website or call 1-800-959-8281Opens your phone app..

Tips - The CRA will never:

  • Use aggressive or threatening language
  • Threaten you with arrest or to send police
  • Ask for payments using prepaid credit cards or gift cards
  • Collect or distribute payments through Interac e-Transfer® service
  • Use text messages under any circumstances to ask for financial information

Need more information?