Preventing Fraud

Be Alert

Get an unexpected text?
Don’t click on any links. Phishing scams are on the rise. If you receive an unexpected text message or email claiming to be from BVCU, reach out to your branch directly to confirm if it is legitimate. 

Read more below about common types of scams fraud to help protect yourself.

Recognize it. Report it. Stop it.

STEP 1
Contact Bow Valley Credit Union immediately to report that you are or believe to be a victim of fraud. Additionally, notify any other financial institutions and credit card companies that may be at risk.

Bow Valley Contact Centre: 
1-800-207-0068

STEP 2
Change the passwords on all online accounts and additional password protected websites and programs using a secure computer. If you are a victim of online banking fraud your information may have been obtained through a computer virus and used to fraudulently access online banking. If you cannot be certain your computer is secure, BVCU will temporary freeze your online banking access until all additional steps are taken.

STEP 3
If you have disclosed personal information to fraudsters, or are a victim of identity theft, we would strongly recommend that you place fraud alerts on your credit reports.
Equifax: 1-800-465-7166
Transunion: 1-877-525-3823
For each of the above credit bureaus:
  • Obtain a copy of your report (victims of identity theft can receive copies of their credit reports for free) and ask that no further credit be granted without your approval.
  • Make sure your account is flagged with a “fraud alert” for the maximum time allowable.
  • Send these requests in writing and keep copies for yourself.
  • Review the reports carefully and look for inquiries you didn’t initiate, accounts you didn’t open and unexplained debts.

STEP 4
Contact the proper authorities. File a report with your local police department. Keep a copy of the police report and provide the report number and officer name to BVCU, credit card companies, and any additional financial institutions affected.  

Report the fraud to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre:
Toll Free: 1-888-495-8501
Email: info@antifraudcentre.ca

STEP 5
Keep copies of all documentation and communication. Stay educated! The more educated you are about fraud, the lower the risk you have of becoming a victim.

Common types of fraud

At BVCU, your security is one of our top priorities. 

We do everything we can to protect your security. We have technology in place to protect your online interactions with us, as well as policies and guidelines to safeguard your security and privacy. That's what we can do. A large part of your security is up to you. Only you can protect your passwords, access codes and personal identification numbers.

You can also make yourself aware of the common ways thieves will try to steal your information. We'll alert you to fraud and scams as we learn about them.  You need to be careful because scammers are sneaky, crafty, and underhanded. They can target anyone, from youngsters to retirees. They also target businesses. No one is immune to fraud, so it is best to be prepared. To learn more about some common and modern scams and how to be vigilant, check out the information below!
What is it?
Victims of fraud are contacted by email, text or online message and are referred to a fraudulent website or automated phone system disguising as a financial institution or other reputable company.  Requests are made to enter personal information, account numbers, user names, passwords or credit card information (including the three-digit security number on the back). Unfortunately, this compromises the very information the scammers claim they will protect.

Red Flags:
  • Unexpected email, text or social media message is received encouraging recipient to click on link or attachment.
  • Message calls for immediate action; may claim accounts have been compromised or become inactive.
  • Social media posts may encourage recipient to view a new video or website.

How to Protect Yourself:
  • Always contact sender through known contact information to confirm request. Ensure that the attachment or link is valid prior to opening.
  • If information is provided, notify BVCU and credit card company immediately.
  • If personal information is provided, contact Equifax and TransUnion to add an alert to your credit report.
  • Report to police and the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.
  • Ensure that your computer is virus free. 
  • Change passwords from a secured device.
What is it?
Victims of fraud are contacted by email, text or online message and are referred to a fraudulent website or automated phone system disguising as a financial institution or other reputable company.  Requests are made to enter personal information, account numbers, user names, passwords or credit card information (including the three-digit security number on the back). Unfortunately, this compromises the very information the scammers claim they will protect.

Red Flags:
  • Unexpected email, text or social media message is received encouraging recipient to click on link or attachment.
  • Message calls for immediate action; may claim accounts have been compromised or become inactive.
  • Social media posts may encourage recipient to view a new video or website.

How to Protect Yourself:
  • Always contact sender through known contact information to confirm request. Ensure that the attachment or link is valid prior to opening.
  • If information is provided, notify BVCU and credit card company immediately.
  • If personal information is provided, contact Equifax and TransUnion to add an alert to your credit report.
  • Report to police and the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.
  • Ensure that your computer is virus free. 
  • Change passwords from a secured device.
What is it?
Victims receive a phone call claiming a debt is owed to the government and immediate payment is required via gift cards, wire transfer, e-transfer, Western Union Transfer, or bitcoin deposit machine. Often a threat of arrest is made if payment is not complete.

Red Flags:
  • Receive a call from CRA.
  • Caller is threatening if immediate action is not taken (like a warrant for your arrest has been issued).
  • Request to make payment via gift cards, wire, e-transfer, Western Union Transfer, or bitcoin deposit machine.
  • Told not to tell anyone why money is being sent.

How to Protect Yourself:
  • Hang up immediately.
  • Contact CRA using phone number available on website or in phone book if confirmation is needed that no funds are owed (never calling back the number that originally called you).
  • If funds are provided, contact your BVCU branch.
  • Report to police and the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.
What is it?
Individual receives phone call from someone pretending to be their family member or someone calling on their behalf. The caller claims to need money because they are in trouble, lost documents while traveling, or in need of medical attention.

Red Flags:
  • Call received in the night.
  • Caller needs money ASAP due to an emergency.
  • Request is made not to tell anyone (might say that they are embarrassed and don't want people to know)
  • Caller does not sound like family member or use same language.

How to Protect Yourself:
  • Do not disclose name of your family member and ask who is calling or who they are calling for.
  • Hang up.
  • If you feel the call is real, contact other family member or call the location place they stated to be directly (like the hospital).
  • Contact BVCU before sending money.
  • If funds are provided, contact your BVCU branch.
  • Report to police and the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.
What is it?
Individual receives phone call from someone pretending to be their family member or someone calling on their behalf. The caller claims to need money because they are in trouble, lost documents while traveling, or in need of medical attention.

Red Flags:
  • Call received in the night.
  • Caller needs money ASAP due to an emergency.
  • Request is made not to tell anyone (might say that they are embarrassed and don't want people to know)
  • Caller does not sound like family member or use same language.

How to Protect Yourself:
  • Do not disclose name of your family member and ask who is calling or who they are calling for.
  • Hang up.
  • If you feel the call is real, contact other family member or call the location place they stated to be directly (like the hospital).
  • Contact BVCU before sending money.
  • If funds are provided, contact your BVCU branch.
  • Report to police and the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.
What is it?
The job seeker is successful at obtaining job online and is provided payment to purchase items as a secret shopper or for supplies. Shortly thereafter, a request made is them to send a portion of the funds back to sender or to another individual. After funds are sent, the original payment is discovered to be fraudulent.
Alternatively, a request for online banking information is made and once provided account is used for fraudulent online banking transactions.

Red Flags:
  • Obtained job quickly with little contact with employer.
  • High pay offered with little effort needed.
  • Request to send money to individual once received (for example, send funds through Western Union). 

How to Protect Yourself:  
  • Research company to confirm they are legitimate before accepting any funds/giving personal information.
  • Never provide online banking passwords, change password if provided.
  • Contact BVCU before receiving or sending money.
  • If funds are provided, contact BVCU.
  • Report to police and Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.
What is it?
Involves fraudsters obtaining an individual's information and using it to log into their online banking profile. The fraudster then completes online banking activities using the individual's account. These activities could include but are not limited to email money transfers (EMT), Western Union Money Transfers, Interac online payments (IOP), and bill payments. Fraudsters use several techniques to obtain individual's information, including watching over someone's shoulder, Phishing emails, text messages, social media messages, or virus attack.

Red Flags:
  • Received online banking alert from BVCU for activity you did not do.
  • Noticed unauthorized activity on account when reviewing online banking or account statement.
  • Provided online banking information to an individual or website.
  • You have recently clicked on a link or attachment you were not expecting.

How to Protect Yourself:  
  • Set-up BVCU's account alerts to assist in active account monitoring.
  • Never share online banking passwords.
  • Be aware of others around you when entering online banking passwords.
  • Do not open unexpected email/text/social media attachments or links.
  • Only use reputable apps provided by Apple Store or Google Play.
  • Use caution where you are storing your backup information to, needs to be secured. 
  • Watch the permission requests made by apps to manage phone.
  • Contact BVCU if you have concerns about or to report unauthorized activity.
  • Ensure that your computer is virus/malware free.
  • Report to police and Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.

Additional Resources to Keep Your Finances Safe:


Protect Yourself

Security Tips

BVCU does everything we can to make certain that your financial information is secure. We are committed to helping you protect yourself from fraud and identity theft. By learning about the exposure risks, you can change your habits to reduce the risks, and know what steps to take if you are a victim.

There are things that you can do to ensure that you do your part to stay safe as well. To read more about what you can do to protect yourself from risk, read about your security and how you can make strong habits to reduce risk.
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