Identity theft and fraud

What to do if you’re the victim of identity theft or fraud

Identity theft and fraud

Internet, email, and text fraud is on the rise, as con-artists continue to find new ways to use the Internet to scam innocent consumers. This kind of fraud is popular because of its anonymity, ease of promotion, and lack of borders.

Fraudulent methods include:

  • Fraudulent or fake web sites
  • Untrustworthy web sites
  • Phishing, a type of deception designed to steal your valuable personal data, such as credit card numbers, passwords, account data, or other information.
  • Fake online auctions and contests
  • Advance fee scams (Nigerian 419, lotteries)
  • Business opportunities and work-from-home scams
  • International modem dialing and cramming
  • Credit card fraud

How to protect yourself

Many people use the same usernames and passwords across the Internet. Keep this in mind if someone finds this out, as they will try multiple services (i.e. banking, online retailers, etc).

Passwords

Many people use the same usernames and passwords across the Internet. This is not a safe practice, because if a fraudster breaks your password in one location, they'll have your password for multiple services – possibly including your bank, online retailers, etc.

Always use passwords that are difficult to guess. And do not use the same password for multiple services.

Internet

  • Before providing credit card or financial information, ensure the merchant has a secure payment transaction system. Look for one or both of these signs that the site is secure:
    1. A lock icon in the status bar of your browser. If the site is secure, the lock will be closed
    2. The Web site address begins with https. The 's' indicates that the site is secure
  • Each month, closely inspect your credit card bills, banking receipts, and other financial records for unusual items or purchases
  • Always ensure that your operating system and browser software are kept up-to-date using legitimate upgrades and patches issued by the software vendor

Email

  • Type important web addresses and do not use addresses from emails claiming to be from your bank
  • Never respond to emails that ask for personal information. Banks and other organizations that hold your personal information will never send an email asking you to verify personal information
  • If you are unsure of the source of the email, you should not click on links within emails that appear to be from a legitimate company. Instead, directly type the URL in your browser address bar, or call the company on a contact number previously verified or known to be genuine
  • If unsure as to the legitimacy of an email, seek advice from the legitimate corporation using verified contact details. Don't use any contact information in the suspected email.
  • For other potentially fraudulent emails, delete the email, or forward the message to a fraud protection service that investigates such incidents
  • Always ensure that your operating system and browser software are kept up-to-date using legitimate upgrades and patches issued by the software vendor

Reporting spam or phishing on your telus.net email account

If you receive spam or phishing emails on your telus.net email account, please send the email directly to abuse@telus.com along with the email header information. Without this header information we are not able to tell where the email is coming from.

Retrieving email header information on your smartphone may not be possible. Log in to your email account on your computer to retrieve the email header. Here are the instructions to find the email header in TELUS Webmail:

  • Click on the Subject line so it shows in the lower pane
  • Click on [+] to the left of the Subject line in the lower pane
  • Click on Message Source on the right side of the Subject line
  • Highlight the information in that window, then Copy it (Ctrl-C)
  • Create a new email message and paste (Ctrl-V) this information into a new email message to send to abuse@telus.com

Reporting phishing or suspicious e-mails on your email account (other than telus.net)

If you receive phishing or suspicious emails on your email account, you can send an email directly to info@antifraudcentre.ca along with the email header information. Without this header information they are not able to tell where the email is coming from.

Retrieving email header information on your smartphone may not be possible. Log in to your email account on your computer to retrieve the email header. Learn how to forward the original message as an attachment, or how to copy the header from different email programs.

SMS

  • Do not follow any links or instructions in the message
  • Never respond to messages that ask for personal information. Banks and other organizations that hold your personal information will never send text messages asking you to verify personal information
  • If you are unsure of the source of the message, you should not click on embedded links that appear to be from a legitimate company. Call the company on a contact number previously verified or known to be genuine

Reporting spam or phishing on your TELUS mobile device


If you receive spam or phishing text messages:

  • Forward the message to 7726 with the word SPAM in the body of the message.
  • Contact our Data and Network Assistance team by dialing *611 from your mobile device or toll-free at 1-866-558-2273 from another telephone.

Helpful tools

Installing security software on your smartphone is a good start in preventing online or email fraud. Although 100% prevention is impossible, there are some precautionary measures that you can take to reduce the potential of being conned by phishing scams:

  • Anti-virus software can detect and delete virus files before they attack your smartphone, tablet, or computer. These virus programs can search your device for personally sensitive information and pass the information to fraudsters
  • Anti-spyware software can prevent harmful spyware and adware files from being installed on your smartphone, tablet, or computer without your knowledge, allowing others to monitor your web browsing patterns, track what you purchase, and inundate you with annoying pop-up ads
  • A personal firewall can monitor both incoming and outgoing Internet traffic from your smartphone, tablet, or computer, protecting it from being hacked into and from having viruses or spyware installed without your knowledge. Most firewall programs also block unauthorized access to the Internet from your device

Search your mobile device's application store to find an appropriate security application for your device, or if you are using a mobile Internet key with your computer, search for security software compatible with your operating system.

If you are victim of identity theft or identity fraud

If you become a victim of fraud, immediately take the steps below to prevent further crimes from happening and to restore your credit and good name.

If your email password was taken:

  • Change your password immediately
  • Do not ever use your old password again
  • Watch for any unusual emails arriving
  • Warn those that you email that they may get suspicious emails from your email address

If it was banking / credit card information:

  • Contact your financial institution or credit card company to report the loss
  • If you have an online banking account, change the password
  • Review your statements closely. Report any discrepancies immediately
  • Consider opening a new account and/or cancelling the credit card

If it was an online retailer:

  • Change your password for the retailer
  • Watch your order history. Check for discrepancies
  • Report any discrepancies immediately to the vendor

For more information about fraud, see the following:

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