‘phacts’ about phishing
No, we’re not talking about that thing you do with a rod, a lake, and a boat in the summertime. Actually, phishing is something quite different (although it does involve bait, a hook, and an unpleasant experience for those on the other end).
what is phishing?
The true definition of phishing is the fraudulent practice of sending emails claiming to be from reputable companies (such as credit unions) in order to persuade individuals to reveal personal information, such as online banking passwords and credit card numbers.
phishing scammers tend to create a false sense of urgency
In some cases of phishing, the scammer will attempt to create a sense of urgency, encouraging you to release information or to click on a link. It’s important to learn how to recognize desperation or false urgency in an email.
even search engines can have phishing scams
Unfortunately, Google and other popular search engines aren’t always immune to the threats of phishing and online scams. Just by typing in popular terms like ‘banking in Manitoba’ or ‘mortgages’ in the search bar can lead to millions of results, and not all of them are legitimate. Specifically, Google will display ‘search ads’ at the top of the page and it’s important that you recognize the specific URL name before clicking. If you’re ever unsure, go to the website that you’re looking for directly, by typing out the entire URL. (Like www.sunovacu.ca).
reel Compannies don’t T@lk like This
While spelling mistakes happen from time to time, if an email or text has a lot of misspelled words and random capitals, contains a link you don’t recognize, or just seems strange, it’s probably spam. The best thing to do is to delete it without clicking on any links. If you’re curious if it’s a real email from a company you do business with, contact the company directly using contact information found on its website or by Google search.
reputable institutions will never ask for account information over text or email
It’s easy to avoid engaging with a phishing email when you know Sunova (and basically any financial institution for that matter) will never text or email asking for personal account information such as passwords. If you notice an email or text that appears to be impersonating Sunova, please let us know so we can confirm if it’s real or not. If you can, mark the email or text as spam and do not click on any links within.
if it’s a site you don’t recognize, it’s probably unsafe
If you ever find yourself on your financial institution’s website but something looks off (i.e. the wrong link, misspelled words, or it just looks different) you’ve probably landed yourself on a phishing website. Do not attempt to enter your login information such as member number, passwords, or other personal details on a site you do not recognize. This is how hackers and scammers can steal your information or infect your computer with viruses.
what to do if you suspect a phishing attack
If you don’t do business with the company or person who sent the message, it could be a scam. If you see any of the common phishing tactics above, report the message and delete it.
If you do business with the company or person who sent you the message, take a minute to double-check that it’s real. Contact the person though a trusted source and NOT the information in the email (like a phone number on the official website). If it is a scam, report the message and delete it.
what to do if you’re a victim of a phishing attack
We hope this never happens, but if you do fall victim to fraud, here’s what the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre suggests you do.
- Gather details and information about the scam (what happened, a copy of the message, receipts and statements if possible).
- Change all your account passwords (especially for your financial information)
- Contact your financial institution and put flags on your accounts (including your credit card).
- Report the fraud to
- Both credit bureaus (Equifax and TransUnion)
- The police in your area
- The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre
when in doubt, call us
If you are ever wondering about an email that you’ve received, do not hesitate to give us a call. We will be able to confirm whether an email is a scam right away. Plus, once you have us on the phone, we’ll be able to answer any banking questions you may have.