Tips to Prevent Fraud

A close-up of someone holding a smartphone with a SCAM! warning message in red text across the screen

According to a recent Equifax survey, 97% of Canadians feel vulnerable to fraudsters and identity theft, and with good reason. With the increasing reliance on technology and online transactions, the risk of falling victim to these scams has grown significantly.

Unfortunately, anyone can become a target for fraud, regardless of their financial situation—whether through email or phone scams, credit card skimming, or fake websites. The consequences can be devastating, not only for your wallet and credit score but also emotionally and mentally. As such, knowing how to identify and prevent fraud is critical. 

5 ways you can protect yourself against fraud include:

  1. Be wary of unsolicited calls and emails
  2. Monitor your bank accounts
  3. Use strong passwords and 2-factor authentication
  4. Be cautious with public Wi-Fi
  5. Educate yourself about common scams
An infographic highlighting 5 ways one can prevent fraud.

Be Wary of Unsolicited Calls & Emails 

Scammers often pose as representatives of legitimate companies or organizations to trick you into giving up your personal and financial information. 

When getting a call or an email from someone you don’t know, don’t give out personal information. Legitimate institutions will never ask for your personal data via email. 

Also, be wary of links in unsolicited emails. These links could take you to a fake website that looks like the real thing, but it’s designed to steal your information.

Monitor Your Bank Accounts

Monitor your bank accounts and credit score to identify unusual activity. With online banking, it’s easier to access your accounts regularly. 

Check your statements to ensure all transactions in your account are authorized and there are no charges you don’t understand. Check your credit score regularly—sudden changes may indicate that someone is using your identity.

You can also set up push notifications for mobile banking transactions. With this feature, you’ll receive an alert whenever purchases or ATM withdrawals occur, allowing you to promptly dispute any fraudulent activity. 

Use Strong Passwords & 2-Factor Authentication

A strong password may not be enough to completely protect you from fraudsters, but it’s a good place to start. You can do this by using a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters. Avoid using easily guessable information like your name, birthdate, or common words. 

Additionally, consider using a passphrase, which is a series of random words strung together, as an alternative to a traditional password. Ensure all your accounts have unique passwords to prevent widespread access if one is compromised. It’s also recommended to use 2-factor authentication, which adds an extra layer of security. 

Be Cautious with Public Wi-Fi

Public Wi-Fi is an inexpensive and convenient way to access the internet, but it poses significant risks. Hackers can inject malware into the network, monitor your online activities, and steal your sensitive information. 

As such, make sure you don’t handle sensitive information when connected to public Wi-Fi networks. You can protect yourself somewhat by using a virtual private network (VPN) when accessing these networks, but for sensitive information, like your finances, it’s best to only access it through a private, secure Wi-Fi network. 

Educate Yourself About Common Scams

Scammers use a wide array of tactics to deceive individuals into providing money or personal information, and these tactics are ever-evolving. Knowing the common tactics of fraudsters can help you stay alert to their tricks and protect yourself against fraud. 

Investment Fraud

Investment fraud occurs when individuals or organizations deceive investors into making decisions based on false or misleading information, leading to financial loss. Always be wary of promises of high returns with little risk and seek advice from reputable financial professionals

Cryptocurrency Scams

As the popularity of digital currencies rises, so do the associated scams. Exercise caution when investing in cryptocurrencies, and be wary of promises of high returns with little risk.

Romance Scams

Be cautious when developing online relationships, as scammers often build trust before exploiting individuals for financial gain.

Grandparent/Emergency Scams 

Fraudsters may pose as relatives in distress, requesting urgent financial assistance. These scammers rely on creating a sense of urgency to pressure the victim into sending money or providing personal information. Always verify the identity of the caller before taking any action.

In some situations, the caller might claim to be a member of law enforcement. This can raise the stakes of the call. If this happens, remain calm, hang up, and call your local police department to get the facts. 

Delayed-Action Sweepstakes Scam

If you receive a notification about winning a prize but are asked to pay fees or provide personal information first, it’s likely a scam. Legitimate sweepstakes do not require upfront payments.

Employment Scams 

Job offers that require upfront payments or personal information should raise red flags. It’s not the norm for legitimate jobs to ask for this upfront. Be cautious and trust your instincts when it comes to these kinds of requests.


Spoofing occurs when scammers manipulate their information to appear as someone you may know. Scammers can manipulate caller IDs, email addresses, and even websites to seem like a trusted source. 

To protect yourself from spoofing, be cautious of unexpected emails or calls asking for personal or financial information. If in doubt, contact the company or person directly using the contact information you find independently rather than what’s provided in the suspicious message or call.

A woman using her smartphone to connect to a public Wi-Fi

Protect Your Finances

While fraud can be one of those things that feels like it “won’t happen to you,” scammers can target anyone, and without the right tools, you can be vulnerable to them. The bottom line for protecting yourself against fraud is to be wary of offers that seem too good to be true and to fact-check unknown calls or emails requesting sensitive information urgently. 

Don’t be afraid to say no to requests from unverified sources, and never give out personal information to unsolicited callers. With the right tools, you can protect your information and finances against fraud. 

When you need a trusted lender by your side, reach out to the Blue Copper Capital team for resources you can rely on

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