Phishing is a common type of email and text fraud. It consists of sending a mass mailing by email or text and pretending to be a legitimate company (e.g., Royal Bank, Bell, CRA, Purolator). The primary objective is to obtain the recipients’ personal or financial information in order to steal their identity and their money.
How to recognize a fraudulent email or text
It can be difficult to recognize fraudulent emails and texts because criminals are constantly perfecting their methods. Nevertheless, phishing emails and texts often share the following characteristics:
- The text contains spelling mistakes or awkward phrasing.
- The sender refers to a fictitious problem, such as a late payment or a security breach involving your confidential information.
- The sender insists on the urgent nature of the situation to make you take immediate action.
- The links in the email or text take you to a Web page where you are asked to enter personal information (password, date of birth, social insurance number or credit card).
Stay alert at all times! If you have the slightest doubt about the validity of an email a text purporting to be from a company, do not click on any links or open any attached files.
How to protect yourself
- Do not answer unsolicited emails or texts requesting personal, confidential or financial information.
- Do not respond to emails or texts requesting immediate action and that warn of serious consequences if you do not respond.
- For email, protect your computer with antivirus software, a spyware filter, a spam filter and a firewall.
- Do not click on any links provided in a suspicious email or text message.