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Security is everyone's responsibility

Security is everyone's responsibility

Fraud Prevention Month 2024

Fraudsters have more ways than ever to target your money and personal information. That's why during March's Fraud Prevention Month, Creative Arts Financial is focusing on giving you tools to protect yourself from fraud and identity theft. We'll spend the month highlighting some of the more recent scams you need to be aware of, and we'll provide tips to help you avoid becoming a victim.

Man using mobile phone to report fraud attempt

Identify, Avoid, and Report Fraud

Week 4

To avoid falling victim to fraud, you first have to identify it.

This may sound simple but can be challenging with criminals constantly looking for ways to steal your information and your money – a trend that has been accelerated by improvements in technology. With these constant threats to your personal information, it is important to take steps to protect yourself.

To help you identify and avoid scams, here are some common signs listed by the government of Ontario

  • Requests to provide money in non-traditional formats (gift cards, Bitcoin, prepaid credit cards, etc.)
  • Emails from senders you don’t recognize – especially ones with links and attachments (check the email domain name for small variations as senders will often mimic legitimate organizations)
  • Requests for financial or personal information via phone, email, or text message (credit card number, bank account information, PIN, SIN, date of birth, security answers)
  • Urgent messages where you’re pressured to contact the sender immediately – sometimes under the threat of legal punishment
  • Requests to avoid sharing any details of the interaction with local authorities, family members, or relatives
  • Pressure to act fast (criminals want you to act immediately, often using threats to get you to compromise your personal or financial information)

If you suspect you have been a victim of a scam follow Ontario’s guide to reporting fraud

  1. Stop communicating with the scammer
  2. Change passwords to affected accounts, notify your financial institution(s) and credit reporting agencies
  3. Report fraud to local police and the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre
Person protecting their PIN at ATM

Protect your PIN

Week 3

One way criminals try to access your money and personal information is by stealing your debit card or debit card information. Since these cards are protected by a computer chip, fraudsters use different methods to try and gain access to your PIN and circumvent this protection.

Tactics such as shoulder surfing (criminals steal your PIN by spying over your shoulder) could get you to unwittingly reveal your private information.

  • Shield your PIN when using an ATM or POS terminal
  • Don’t keep a written copy of your PIN and never share it with anyone
  • Change your PIN regularly and avoid using obvious information
  • Never lend your card or disclose your PIN to anyone
  • Routinely check your banking statements and transactions and report any unusual activity right away
Person typing one time passcode on laptop keyboard

One-Time Passcode Scams

Week 2

Even with protections in place, fraudsters are still coming up with new and unique ways to evade online safety measures.

One of the most effective measures we have is 2-Step Verification (2SV) because it doesn’t allow criminals access to your accounts even if your password becomes compromised. Because it’s so effective, scammers will often impersonate a victim’s financial institution or service provider and try to steal or trick them into revealing the one-time password (OTP) to get around it.

  • Never share your authentication codes or one-time passcodes
  • Remember Creative Arts Financial or any other reputable institution will never ask you to share a OTP with them over the phone, by text or by email
  • Receiving OTPs via text is safer than email and voice call
  • Always use different passwords for different services – never use the same one twice
  • If you believe you’ve been a target of an OTP scam and provided information to a fraudster, contact your financial institution immediately
Man reporting emergency scam attempt on mobile device

Emergency Scams

Week 1

Often, fraudsters and scammers prey on our better nature when they try and take advantage of our care and generosity for others. One way they do this is through emergency scams.

These are types of fraud where criminals use phone calls, texts, social media messages and emails to impersonate a target's friend or family member in distress to trick them into urgently sending money or private information.

  • Resist the urge to act immediately
  • Don't be afraid to say no
  • Do not give out any personal information
  • Stop and talk to someone you trust before you do anything else
  • Don't trust caller ID names and numbers (through spoofing, scammers can disguise the actual number they are calling from)
  • Be cautious about what information you post online

We work with our members to protect personal information

At Creative Arts Financial, your information security is our top priority. There are some ways you can help ensure even greater security when accessing online account services:

  1. Make sure your computer, tablet and smartphone are running up-to-date antivirus software
  2. Avoid accessing your accounts online when using public WIFI services

Internet Security

The internet has changed the way financial institutions do business. Online accounts provide convenient access to your financial information and the ability to perform transactions from home or work locations.

It is important to ensure you always access your accounts from a secure computer using your unique password. Inadequate computer protection can lead to malware infections or unauthorized remote access.


How you can stay protected on the internet

How Creative Arts Financial is protecting you

What we do to protect your information in online banking.

How you can protect yourself

Everything you can do to protect yourself while using the internet and banking online.


Please Note: Creative Arts Financial has provided this information as high level guidance only. If you require additional details, please utilize the many resources available on the internet by searching the term you are looking to further understand.

All reports related to fraud that are connected to a financial loss will be thoroughly investigated by Creative Arts Financial.