Send or receive e-transfers? You may be at risk of losing your money to fraud. Here are some ways to protect yourself.
A change in the way we pay for things
Many of us have grown comfortable with the ease and convenience of digital transactions. Gone are the days of needing to take out cash from the bank to buy what you need. While certain digital transactions offer protections, such as credit cards, others may not. Here’s what you need to know about e-transfer fraud.
E-transfer fraud: how it works
When you receive an e-transfer, it usually provides you with a text or email notification prompting you to answer a security question to deposit the money into your account. E-transfer fraud happens when fraudsters hack into your email account and intercept the transaction. They then redirect the money into their own accounts.
How to protect yourself
Keep your email secure.
This is the most important part. If your email is secure, the fraudsters won’t be able to hack into it and intercept e-transfers. Change your email password regularly and choose a password that is hard to crack.
Input information carefully.
Be careful with spelling and make sure you have the information entered correctly. You cannot cancel or reverse a transfer that has already been deposited.
Choose a security question that is difficult to guess.
This makes it harder for the fraudster to crack it. If you need to, share the answer with the recipient in a secure way (such as over the phone).
Avoid repurposing security questions.
Come up with unique security questions and answers for reach e-transfer.
Don’t include the answer in the security question.
If you are sending an e-transfer, don’t include the answer in the security question. This defeats the purpose.
Consider registering for e-transfer Autodeposit.
This feature deposits your money automatically. The transfer does not require a password and avoids email interception by fraudsters.
Speak to your bank about what protections exist.
Each financial institution is different. If you have specific questions about how to protect your e-transfer transactions, contact them directly.
Did we miss anything? What are your tips to protect yourself from e-transfer fraud?
What to do if you fall victim to e-transfer fraud
Report the incident to the bank and find out what your options are. Follow these steps from the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre, and ensure you report the issue to them as well.
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About Consumer Protection BC
We are responsible for regulating specific industries and certain consumer transactions in British Columbia. If your concern is captured under the laws we enforce, we will use the tools at our disposal to assist you. If we can’t help you directly, we will be happy to provide you with as much information as possible. Depending on your concern, another organization may be the ones to speak to; other times, court or legal assistance may be the best option. Explore our website at www.consumerprotectionbc.ca.