Text message fraud (Smishing)

One type of mobile fraud and a variant of the email phishing scam is smishing (SMS phishing or smishing), which uses text messages to fool you into sharing your financial and personal information. Here’s how the scam works: You receive a text message on your cell phone. The message states that it is from Vancity and creates a sense of urgency by telling you that your account has been suspended or locked for some reason. Some possible reasons they may use include: “due to unauthorized access, excessive unsuccessful attempts to gain access or other fraudulent activity.”

The message will end by telling you that you can reactivate or unlock your account by:

  • calling the phone number provided
  • linking to the Internet site provided in the text message.

Whether calling the phone number or linking to the internet site, you will be asked to provide personal information, often including your account number (chequing, savings, credit or debit card), personal identification number (PIN), security question/answers, Social Insurance Number, and other personal information.

Here’s what you should do if you receive a suspicious email, phone call or text message asking you to provide personal or financial information

  • Do not respond. Toll free scams are rampant. If an apparent toll free number is presented for you to dial, compare it to ours: 1-888-Vancity (826-2489). Resist any exaggerated claims that you must immediately respond and provide the information requested. Never provide personal or financial information in response to unsolicited email, voice, or text requests.
  • Read the message carefully or, if it was phone call, listen to the recorded telephone message carefully. Ask yourself why the information requested would really be needed. Vancity never sends unsolicited requests for confidential information.

Where possible, be careful of using mobile devices through public wi-fi sites. Try to find a secure connection or use one of our mobile banking options including our official mobile app when doing online banking. Visit our section on how to protect your mobile phone for more information.