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Scams and frauds to watch for

Posted on: March 06, 2017 | Author: Staff

Fake texts from ATB

We've found out that ATB customers (and non-customers too) have received text messages in what we believe is a phishing attempt. Here's an example of what one of them looked like:

Suspected phishing text

Safe ATB links begin with or Any login pages will begin with https://.

If you are in doubt about a message, call our Customer Care Centre at 1-800-332-8383 and report any suspected fraud to

Posted March 6, 2017

Protect yourself. Don’t fall for these scams making the rounds right now.

STARS lottery "winners"

This one comes up when the STARS lottery is underway, and this year is no exception. We had a customer in one of our branches report a STARS fraud attempt just this week.

The fraudsters could contact you by phone or email indicating you won a prize in the lottery. You'll be asked to send money in order to claim it.

According to the STARS website, "You will never be asked to send money to claim a STARS lottery prize. Period. If you are being asked to send a cheque, money order, or payment of any kind to claim your lottery prize, it is a scam. Hang up the phone or delete the email."

Posted February 22, 2017

Can you hear me now?

This phone scam has arrived in Alberta.

Essentially, it relies on your voice to answer a simple question, "Can you hear me now?" The scammers try to bait callers into answering "yes."

Anti-fraud agencies say that the simple acknowledgment can be used to make it sound as if you signed on for a purchase or service. The call is the first part of the scam. An invoice or bill that arrives later is the second part. The call may be played back as evidence of consent.

The best way to protect yourself is to screen all incoming calls and report any suspicious activity to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre. If you believe you may have fallen for the scam, contact your bank and credit card companies to flag your accounts.

Posted February 9, 2017

Binary options fraud

Buckle up, this one is complex. But we've seen some of our customers fall victim, so we want to get the word out.

Although binary options are sometimes traded on regulated exchanges, they are generally unregulated, traded on the Internet, and prone to fraud.

A binary option is a type of options contract in which the payout will depend entirely on the outcome of a yes/no proposition. For example, the yes/no proposition connected to the binary option might be whether the stock price of XYZ company will be above $9.36 per share at 2:30pm on a particular day, or whether the price of silver will be above $33.40 per ounce at 11:17am on a particular day.

Once the customer acquires a binary option, there is no further decision for the holder to make as to whether or not to exercise the binary option; they exercise automatically. Unlike other types of options, a binary option does not give the customer the right to purchase or sell the underlying asset.

When the binary option expires, the customer will receive either a pre-determined amount of cash or nothing at all. Given the all-or-nothing payout structure, binary options are sometimes referred to as “all-or-nothing options” or “fixed-return options.”

There are several ways that people can potentially fall victim to Binary Options fraud, with the most commom being:

  • When customers attempt to withdraw their original deposit or the return they have been promised, the trading platforms allegedly cancel customers’ withdrawal requests, refuse to credit their accounts, or ignore their telephone calls and emails.
  • Certain Internet-based binary options trading platforms may be collecting customer information such as credit card and driver’s license data for unspecified uses resulting in suspected identity theft.
  • Certain Internet-based binary options trading platforms may manipulate the trading software to distort binary options prices and payouts (for example, when a customer’s trade is “winning,” the countdown to expiration is extended arbitrarily until the trade becomes a loss).

Posted January 24, 2017

Mystery shopper scam

We’ve seen ATB customers falling victim to this one. People are hired as mystery shoppers and told to buy things from a particular store. They receive a cheque to deposit and are told to keep a portion of it as payment and wire the rest back as a test. Guess what? That cheque turns out to be bad and the victim is now on the hook for the money they wired.

Posted January 20, 2017

Phone scam

How’s this for a clever customer? She got a call from an Ontario number and the person told her they were from ATB and she was the winner of a free security system. There would be a monthly fee of $33, they just needed to give them her banking info. She didn’t. She called us instead and found out we are definitely not giving away security systems. Now you know!

Posted January 20, 2017

Car wrapping scam

We caught one of these in the nick of time earlier this month. A customer had agreed to have their vehicle wrapped in vinyl advertising. They were given a cheque to cover all the costs, told to keep $300 as payment and deposit the rest into a specific bank account to pay for the decals. After that, they were promised weekly cheques that would come by mail. In this scam, the cheques always turn out to be counterfeit and the victim will be on the hook for the money.

Posted January 20, 2017

For more details on active scams, visit the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre online.

Other articles you may be interested in:

7 tips for protecting yourself from scams and fraud
Financial abuse—know the signs
4 warning signs of identity theft

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