In honour of Fraud Prevention Month, we sat down with Shellyna Lipic, the Manager of Compliance at SCU. Lipic, along with her team, works to spot fraud, identify members who have fallen victim, and educate employees so they can in turn educate our members.
“It’s important now more than ever to protect your identity,” says Lipic. “Fraudsters are becoming more sophisticated and the scams are harder to spot, especially in the moment.” It can be very easy to fall victim to fraud and not recognize the signs until it’s too late, as suggested by the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre’s statistic that more than 1 in 5 Canadians report being a victim of fraud or a scam in the last two years1.
“We see a lot of fraud attempts every day, mostly in the form of romance scams, email phishing, and telephone scams,” Lipic notes. “We do everything we can to help our members not fall victim to fraud, but it’s a responsibility we all share.”
When it comes to fraud prevention, knowledge is power. March is Fraud Prevention Month, an annual campaign by the Competition Bureau of Canada to help educate you on how to recognize, reject, and report fraud. It’s a great time to learn a bit more about common scams, so you can detect them before falling victim.
Some general tips on protecting yourself from fraud
Always ask yourself if what you’re hearing makes sense: If you aren’t sure, talk with someone you trust, call the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at 1.888.495.8501, or call us at 1.800.728.6440.
Research online: Often scams will use the same names, phone numbers, or locations, so a quick online search for those key words can help you spot a scam. Even if you don’t find anything, trust your instincts if something seems off, or call the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre to be sure.
Stay tuned: The news often reports current scams, so it’s always good to at least scan the details. That way, if you receive the same email or phone call, you’ll instantly spot it as a fraud attempt.
Ask for their name and number: If it’s a scammer on the other end, they’ll either hang up, or they’ll likely give you a false name and phone number. Even better? Hang up and call the company directly (using the company website to find the contact information).
And, always live by the old adage: If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.
1Source: Canadians and their Money: Key Findings from the 2019 Canadian Financial Capability Survey, Financial Consumer Agency of Canada: https://www.canada.ca/en/financial-consumer-agency/programs/research/canadian-financial-capability-survey-2019.html#toc6