These scams arrive via email (phishing) or text messages (smishing) and attempt to gain your personal information.
Video length: 1 minute, 34 seconds
How it works
The scammer sends you an unsolicited email or text message that claims to be from a legitimate organization, such as financial institutions, businesses or government agencies.
How to spot it
These messages often copy the tone and logo of organizations you trust and usually include a call to action. The message asks you to provide or verify your personal or financial information—such as your credit card number, passwords or social insurance number—via email or by clicking on a web link.
- Know that reputable organizations will never ask for your personal information through email or text.
- Ignore communications from unknown contacts.
- Delete suspicious messages as they can carry viruses.
- Don’t reply to spam messages, even to unsubscribe, and don’t open any attachments or follow any links.
- To verify a link without clicking on it, hover your mouse over it. Carefully check if it is accurate.
- Update your antivirus software on all your devices.
- Never use the phone number or email address provided in the suspicious message—use contact information listed on verified websites.
- How to report fraud and scams in Canada
- Phishing (Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre)
- Email and text message scams (Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre)
- Top 10 Cyber Crime Prevention Tips (Royal Canadian Mounted Police)
- Seniors Guidebook to Safety and Security (Royal Canadian Mounted Police)