While scam calls and e-fraud is not new, Canadians are now being warned of a new tactic that offers a zero percent interest rate on a credit card for three years. Pat F., a reporter with a media outlet shared his experience in hopes of raising awareness and helping Canadians to protect themselves in these trying financial times.
According to the report, the perpetrator contacts the consumer and indicates that they have qualified for a special zero percent interest rate for 3 years, based on responsible use of the card and excellent payment history.
The caller then asks for the credit card number to access the most recent statement to confirm current payments made as well as current interest rate. This is where the biggest red flag presented itself for the complainant. He did ask the caller why, if he was calling on behalf of Visa and the Big Banks (CIBC, BMO, RBC, Scotia, etc), he would need to provide the card number- why didn’t the caller already have it? The call was terminated shortly thereafter.
As a reminder, if your bank calls you they will have all of your information in front of them. Under no circumstances will it be necessary to offer up that kind of data. You may be required to confirm other information to validate your identity but no part of that process should require you to offer up sensitive information such as credit card numbers.
Director of fraud mitigation and strategy at Interac, Rachel Jolicoeur, said in an interview that criminals are always inventing new ways to catch people off guard in their attempts to get credit card info, banking data, and other pieces of personal information.
“Fraud at Interac and fraud in general is constant, but what we are seeing now is an increase in all type of fraud attempts,” said Jolicoeur.
She also shared that social media is now becoming another tool in the arsenal of those attempting steal identities. She advised that thieves will comb through social media posts to gather as much intelligence as they can on an individual.
“Criminals are really good at taking one of the pieces and putting them together (with others) and creating a profile of the individual and this is where identity theft comes in,” said Jolicoeur
To access statistical information on the rates of fraud in Canada as well as to keep on top of the most recent scams being played, you can go the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre. If you believe that you have been a victim or have been on the receiving end of one of these calls, you can also contact your local police.
Remember, if something sounds too good to be true, it typically is. Sault Police Service has listed several tips on their website to help people protect themselves.
Be vigilant, protect yourself. Report fraud.
–with files from ctvnews.ca