Preventing Fraud

What is Fraud
In criminal law, a fraud is an intentional deception made for personal gain or to damage another individual; the related adjective is fraudulent. Fraud is a crime, and also a civil law violation. Defrauding people or entities of money or valuables is the most common purpose of fraud.

Fraudulent Telephone Inquiries
Your credit union will never call you to ask for or verify your personal information, credit card number, PIN number or account number. Do not give out or verify any of your personal information over the phone.

If you are contacted by anyone purporting to be a credit union employee looking to obtain or confirm personal information,

  • ask for the name and phone number of the caller,
  • ask to set up an appointment at your credit union,
  • notify your credit union immediately.

Online fraud, email fraud and phishing
Your credit union will never email you a request for your personal passwords, personal information numbers or login information. Legitimate credit unions and other financial service institutions do not ask you to follow links to their secure websites in email communication with you.

Emails designed to lure you to click through to a false, harmful site are a particular kind of fraud called phishing, and it can be a serious threat. Click here to learn more about phishing.


Don’t be a victim!
If you are unsure of the authenticity of an email, delete it and call your branch to find out if an email was indeed distributed. Tip-offs include poor grammar or spelling, warning or alert messages, and exotic promises.

Identity Theft
Criminals are constantly coming up with new ways to carry out identity theft. Some common methods identity thieves use include:

  • Fraudulent telephone calls, letters, letter or emails that asks for your personal banking information.
  • Posing as a landlord, potential employer, etc.
  • Stealing your purse, wallet, mail or any other source of personal information.
  • Rifling through your garbage.
  • Hacking into unsecured websites you have visited and entered information into.

Armed with your personal information, a person may be able to access your accounts, establish credit and obtain services and benefits in your name.

Protect Yourself from Identity Theft

  • Sign credit cards when they arrive. Use chip cards.
  • Safely discard all personal materials. Consider using a shredder.
  • Review your credit union statements and credit card statements when they arrive.  Advise your financial institution of any discrepancies immediately.
  • Protect your PIN and passwords.
  • Perform an annual credit check. This service is available free from a credit bureau, such as Equifax or TransUnion.
  • Report any theft of personal information to your local police, your credit union, the credit bureau and any service providers that you use. Keep a contact list of your card providers somewhere easily accessible so you can quickly and easily contact them to cancel. You may wish to keep a full list of card numbers, etc, locked in your safety deposit box.

What Can I Do?
Reporting Fraud
To report an incident or suspected incident of fraud, your first line of contact should be your credit union.

National Do Not Call List
The National Do Not Call List (DNCL) gives consumers a choice about whether to receive telemarketing calls. The National DNCL Rules introduce new responsibilities for Canada’s telemarketers.

If you are a consumer you can choose to reduce the number of telemarketing calls you receive by registering your residential, wireless, fax or VoIP telephone number on the National DNCL. You can also check your registration, find out how to remove your number from the National DNCL, and file a complaint about telemarketing calls.


Learn More
To take further action or learn more about different types of fraud and how you can protect yourself and your loved ones from them, please visit the following websites:

PhoneBusters is a national anti-fraud call centre jointly operated by the Ontario Provincial Police and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. It is the central agency in Canada that collects information on telemarketing, advanced fee fraud letters (Nigerian letters) and identity theft complaints. For examples of common types of scams, visit or call toll free 1-888-495-8501.

Reporting Economic Crime Online (RECOL) is an integrated partnership between international, federal and provincial law enforcement agencies, regulators and private commercial organizations that have a legitimate investigative interest in receiving a copy of complaints of economic crime. RECOL provides real time data pertaining to the current fraud trends. It also provides support for education, prevention and awareness of economic crime. Visit RECOL.