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How to avoid becoming a victim of a phishing scam

As fraudsters evolve, we need to become more aware of what information we put out there.

FRAUD ALERT! The two words that can make any heart skip a beat.

If you have ever been a victim to fraud, you are aware of the process and procedures that come with attempting to retrieve the stolen funds, changing accounts etc. It is a lengthy process with no guarantee that your funds will be returned.

Fraudsters are getting more sophisticated and creative in attempting to access client details. How their scams are run makes it hard for individuals to differentiate between the real and the unreal as the emails and websites look nearly identical to the real ones. If in doubt, always call the service provider to confirm – this one call could save you from endless frustration and hassles.

This being said, there are a wide variety of ways that fraudsters attempt to retrieve personal details from clients, however, the most popular used is the phishing scams. Phishing is when an email is received by a client from a fraudster claiming to be from a legitimate entity. The email address will even appear to have come from the said entity, requesting private and personal information either by clicking on a link which would divert you to a website that looks legitimate where you would be prompted to enter account details, identity numbers, full names and more.

Alternatively, the email will request an update of details due to verification issues on your account and bank card and will prompt the client with a questionnaire requesting you to complete certain personal information questions. This is just a few ways fraudsters attempt to retrieve the information they need. However, there are ways to try and safeguard yourself and your family to prevent these kinds of threats.

  • Never give your details to anyone who has not verified their identity to you;
  • Never provide pin numbers over email;
  • Only access internet banking from the cellphone application or physically log into internet banking from your browser – never click on an email link;
  • Register for SMS services for your banking – if there is movement on your account you will be immediately notified;
  • Avoid using internet cafes to log into internet banking;
  • When logging in to internet banking check for the “padlock” icon.

These are just some general tips to avoid being a target. As fraudsters evolve, we as individuals have to evolve with them and become more aware of what information we put out there.


Michael Haldane

Global & Local Investment Advisors


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