Phishing: fraudulent e-mails and texts

What should I do if I've received a suspicious email or text?

If you think you’ve responded to – or have discovered – a phishing scam that claims to be from Vancity, contact us immediately. You can:

What is Phishing?

Phishing is a type of online deception, using fraudulent emails and text messages sent to unsuspecting users. It’s designed to steal personal data, such as credit card numbers, passwords or other account information, by masquerading as a legitimate business in an electronic communication

How does phishing work?

In a typical phishing incident, a con artist will send you a fraudulent email or text message that appears to come from websites you trust – like Vancity or your phone company – and will request that you click on a link which takes you to a fraudulent website where you will be asked to enter your online credentials and provide personal information. The thief will then use the information they receive to access your bank or credit card accounts, spend your money or steal your identity.

Phony email, text messages and websites often include official-looking logos and identifying information fraudsters have taken directly from legitimate websites. These copycat sites, also called "spoofed" websites, are often where people will unwittingly send personal information to con artists.

What we’re doing to protect you

Nothing is more important to us than the security of your personal information. If our employees or members identify a phishing site, we work to bring down the fraudulent site as quickly as possible. Vancity also has Personal Access Features in online banking that protect you when you log into your account.

Never respond to unsolicited requests for banking or personal information. Vancity will never solicit account information from members by email or text. If you receive an email or text that appears to be from Vancity asking for account information, including online banking credentials, it is fraudulent.

Top five steps you can take to protect yourself

  1. If you think you've received a phishing email or text message, do not respond to it. Delete it and report it immediately to the company being faked or “spoofed.” Do not reply to any email that requests your personal banking information from Vancity – we would never ask you to submit your banking information by email or text. Instead, immediately report the suspicious email or text
  2. Never click links in email messages unless you are sure of the destination. Links in phishing email and text messages often take you to phony sites that encourage you to transmit personal or financial information. Even if the address bar displays the correct address, don't risk being fooled – con artists can display a fake URL in the address bar on your browser.
  3. Never enter personal or financial information into pop-up windows. Simply close the pop-up windows by clicking the X in the top right corner of the window (a "cancel" button may not work as you'd expect).
  4. Check the security certificate before you enter personal or financial information into a website. You can do this in most web browsers by checking the yellow lock icon on the status bar. If the lock is closed, then the site uses encryption to help protect any sensitive, personal information. If you have an up-to-date browser (which we recommend you always do), look for the green bar.
  5. Sign up for online banking alerts. Alerts are an online banking feature that automatically sends you an email and/or a text message to your mobile phone to alert you of certain changes to your account made through online banking. Best alert to sign up for: “new payee added”. If you receive an alert, you can then let us know if we need to address it.

If you did click a link on a phishing email or text

If you clicked on a link in a phishing email or text and/or provided personal banking information, please call the Member Services Centre at 604.877.7000 or toll free at 1.888.Vancity (826.2489).

Depending on what personal and banking information may have been compromised, additional steps may need to be taken to protect yourself from fraud going forward. Please contact us and we can assist you.

For more information on phishing scams and how to avoid compromising your personal and financial information, visit our full section on avoiding fraudulent e-mail and websites.

 
See how online banking alerts can help protect you
Report an incident