Types of Fraud

Knowledge and awareness is your best defense against fraud. These are some current known fraud schemes that are circulating:

Identity Theft

Identity theft is a growing concern for Canadians. There are ways that you can be proactive in protecting yourself and your loved ones from this criminal activity. The Consumer Measures Committee (cmcweb.ca ) has a public, government-sponsored site which has useful information on how to prevent identity theft and what to do if you become a victim of such a crime. Remember to be suspicious of anyone who contacts you by any means and requests personal information such as account numbers, credit card numbers, personal identification numbers (PIN) or passwords. Remember to protect these numbers and passwords when using them in public places.

Canada Revenue Agency Scam

There are several ongoing scams related to individuals misrepresenting themselves as representatives of Canada Revenue Agency. Some members have received calls indicating they owe additional taxes and must make immediate payment with a credit card over the phone or risk having the police called. Other members have reported receiving notices stating they are receiving additional income tax refund from CRA by way of an email money transfer. The email money transfer alerts have been received through both email and text message.

CUA would like to advise members that the Canada Revenue Agency would not notify you of taxes owing by phone and refunds would never be issued via email money transfer. If you receive either type of communication please hang up the phone or delete the message right away. Some email and text communications have begun with the salutation “Dear Credit Union Client”, however CUA would like to assure members that there has been no exposure of your relationship with CUA or any other credit union. Messages received by our members have referenced other financial institutions with whom they do not have a relationship as well. Any reference to the credit union is purely coincidental and is designed to enhance the apparent legitimacy of the communication.

Overpayment Scams

An overpayment scam is a type of fraud where the person receiving the cheque is actually owed money for goods sold. The seller of an item receives a counterfeit cheque or money order from the purchaser in an amount that is in excess of the amount owed. The seller is then asked to deposit the cheque and wire the excess funds immediately back to the sender/purchaser or the purchaser's agent or shipper. The deposited cheque is subsequently returned as counterfeit and charged back to the seller's account. To protect yourself against this sort of scam, never agree to a deal in which the payer wishes to issue an amount for more than the agreed price and expects you to reimburse the balance. The scammers use a variety of excuses to explain the overpayment, but any such excuse should be treated with the utmost suspicion. Contact your local law enforcement office if you suspect such a scam is taking place.

Phishing Emails

Phishing emails are unsolicited emails designed to prompt the recipient to provide vital personal and/or banking information to the sender. The email may indicate a need to update a personal profile, reactivate an account which has been locked for security purposes, or promises some kind of return for providing the information such as a prize or entry in a draw.

If you receive suspicious emails that claim to be from CUA, please do not send any funds or share personal information. Please forward the email to our team at alerts@cua.com so we can report the fraud.

Example of phishing email Expand/Collapse

Subject: Emergency Help...!!

Greetings!! I just arrived in Istanbul Turkey and I am in a Fix. Unfortunately for me I got robbed at the hotel where I was lodge. All cash, Credit card and cellphones were stolen by robbers, it was so traumatic, Thank God I have my life and passport saved, and The Embassy only cleared me of my traveling documents since I came in on unofficial purposes.

My flight leaves in few hours from now but I am having problems sorting the hotel bills and the hotel manager won't let me leave until I settle the bills which is €1,600 Euro convert to US Dollar is ($2,100). Please can I get a loan of $2100 USD or whatever amount if not all. You'll have it as soon as I get back. It's really urgent, please get back to me asap if you can. I will advise on how you can get it to me.

Best Regard.

Interac e-Transfer Alert

In the past, members have reported suspicious e-transfers being processed on their account. Further investigation revealed that the members’ computers were infected with a Key Logging Virus which captured their online banking login information and transmitted it to a third party who was then able to access their account. A key logging virus is often loaded onto your computer by opening an attachment in an email. This can be prevented by installing an anti-virus software program such as Norton Internet Security or MacAfee. We would like to assure you that our online banking site is safe and secure.

Caller ID Spoofing

Caller ID Spoofing is a tool used by fraudsters to mislead people into thinking the call is from a reputable business or person.  Phone scammers use software to mask their real identities by displaying a fake telephone number. CUA has recently become aware that one of our internal phone numbers 902-492-6516 has been used in one of these spoofs.  It is unclear at this time if the callers are representing themselves as CUA employees but we would like to remind our members of the following best practices: 
  • CUA and its partners never contact members to request personal or account information. If you receive such an email or a similar inquiry by phone, do not disclose your personal information and please report to us so we can investigate the issue.
  • Do not give out personal information over the phone, through email or over the Internet unless you initiated the contact and know who you're dealing with. Do not include personal information in regular, unencrypted email or enter it on an unencrypted website as your information will not be secure.
  • If you ever receive a call regarding your account and you are unsure of whether or not you are speaking to a CUA employee, please get the name of the individual and ask to call them back. You can contact us at 902-492-6500 and one of our Customer Contact Centre representatives will be happy to confirm the validity of the call and direct you back to the employee you were speaking with.

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Fraud Prevention

Report suspicious emails/calls to alerts@cua.com.

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