When it comes to fraud prevention, knowledge is key. Knowing how to identify fraud and protect your personal information are the first steps in ensuring you and your business remain safe.
Fraud can have detrimental financial consequences. The sooner you detect and stop fraud, the quicker you can get back to business. Whether you are a small or large business, everyone is a target. Do your best to recognize the signs.
When a Stranger Calls.
If you receive a call or email from an unknown address or number asking for money or banking information, do not respond or answer. It’s more likely than not a phishing scam designed to access your bank account. Hang up the phone and delete the email (don’t click any links!).
Pro Tip: Verify all email addresses and phone numbers if you suspect them.
Does it Seem too Good to Be True? It is.
If you see sayings like “act now before it’s too late” and “it’s a miracle cure,” run. These scams are designed to make you feel the need to act immediately, which may cause you to ignore the warning signs of fraud. Just know, there is no rush, and it isn’t a miracle.
You Didn’t Spend $600 In Morocco.
Or $342.60 on hunting gear from Wisconsin. If you see charges to your bank account that you did not make, you have become the victim of fraud. Call your bank immediately to protect yourself from further unknown charges.
Trust Your Gut.
If something feels shady, it probably is. Don’t make purchases from websites or sellers without verifying their credentials. Always use trustworthy sites, and if you question their validity, they’re probably not someone you want to buy from.
Not sure if you know what to look for? Take this quiz from the Competition Bureau of Canada to see if you can identify fraud and respond accordingly.
Don’t Be Another Victim.
- Verify all numbers and email addresses before responding.
- Set up banking alerts to alert you of debits and credits to your accounts.
- Monitor your accounts at all times to detect fraud from the beginning.
- Shred all personal information. The trash is not the place for sensitive information. If you still need that information, consider a safe and secure document storage system.
- Do not use the same password for everything, and do not make them easy to guess.
March is Fraud Prevention Month! Use and follow the hashtag #FPM2021 to gather more tips and insight into keeping fraudsters at bay.