Fraud Prevention: What to Watch for in 2021

Date: February 2, 2021

As always, fraud is continuing to evolve, especially within the digital eco-system. From complex fraud schemes to impersonation, let’s look at what is happening and how to stay safe:

The More Common Types of Payment Fraud

Impersonation schemes – criminals will often call members impersonating their credit union or the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) and demand information such as account numbers, SINs, passcodes, and other important information. Your credit union — or bank or CRA — would never call you to ask for this kind of information. Hang up!

Fake charities – unsolicited charity requests should largely be ignored by members, or at least looked at with scrutiny. A common fraud involves altering the name of a known charity by one or two letters/words and soliciting donations.

Peer-to-peer (P2P) payment app fraud – regarded as on the rise, we may see more members being taken for the P2P payment app fraud. Avoid using these apps to send money to people you do not know. They should be used to send money to family and trusted friends.

How Members Can Prevent Payment Fraud

Pay attention to calls from organizations and financial institutions asking you to login to your account.

Be aware of fake emails from institutions asking you to take action/click on something. Pay attention to the email addresses – for example:,, etc.

Be aware of unsolicited text messages. The most secure method of receiving messages from your financial institution is through the app or by calling their public phone line (make sure the phone number is the one on their website, in app, and on printed materials).

Be careful of using open systems for online payment transfers, like Zelle and Venmo, when paying strangers.

Change your debit/credit card and online/digital account frequently.

(And be sure to check your credit card and credit union statement details regularly.)

Financial Protection tip:

As a financial institution, when we reach out to you, we practice not requesting personal information through email, social media channels, or over the phone unless it is in relation to a transaction you have initiated. These include passwords, your 9-digit SIN number, PIN numbers, etc. When you call us, as a method of verifying you we may ask you a series of questions relating to your accounts held at Westoba. If you are uncomfortable answering any security questions, we encourage you to call us back at 1-877-WESTOBA (937-8622).

For more information about fraud in Canada, visit: