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Scams and frauds to watch for

Scams and frauds to watch for

Posted on: December 06, 2017
Author: Staff

Don't fall for it

Watch for this email in your inbox. It's an effort to get you to click on a link and divulge your personal information.

The best advice is to delete it and go one with your day.

Sample fraud emailSample fraud email

Thanks to all our keen-eyed customers who reported this one to us so we could get to work on shutting down the scam, and warning others about it.

If you have any doubt about an email or text that claims to be from us, please call our Customer Care Centre at 1-800-332-8383.

Posted December 6, 2017

It looks like us, but it’s not

It’s not even Halloween yet, but someone is already pretending to be us. It’s a terrible trick we don’t want anyone falling for.

The trap unfolds like this. An email with the subject line, "ATB – One private message" arrives in your inbox. It goes on to tell you that your last transaction was declined due to unexpected payment behaviour. And that your account and online access have been suspended. Like all phishing attempts, there’s a link to click on.

We always warn you not to click on links like this. But take a look at what happens if you do.

phishing screen shot

​ That’s a lot of personal information you’d be giving away. If you got this far, and pressed “Continue” you’d also be tricked into revealing your ATB Online username and password on a screen that looks like this.

phishing screen shot

Scary? It could be.

But not if you remember that we would never ask you for information like this via email or text link. Extra treats for everyone who deltes the message.

If you have any doubt about an email or text that claims to be from us, please call our Customer Care Centre at 1-800-332-8383.

Posted October 3, 2017

Watch out for this phishing email

Vigilant ATB customers and team members noticed this one right away and filed it under "definitely not legit". An email phishing scam is telling people that service has been interrupted, and clicking on a link will make everything better. Wrong!

If you get this message in your inbox, or something similar, do not click on the link. Please delete it.

screenshot of phishing email

Posted September 22, 2017

Now it's emails too

Since our last update about fake text messages, we've seen a spike in emails with a similar approach. Customers are being asked to click on a link to verify their account details. Please do not click on the link, as this message is not generated by ATB.

ATB does not ever ask for personal information via email or text link.

Posted June 1, 2017

Fraudulent text messages from ATB

Some ATB customers are receiving text messages indicating that their accounts have been locked, suspended, or need to be verified for security reasons. The message may come from 437-994-5092, but other numbers could be used as well.

Fraudulent text message

The message asks would-be victims to verify their account information by clicking a link and entering account information. Doing that could result in malware being installed on a victim's device and thieves attempting to gain access to accounts.

ATB does not ask for personal information via text message.

While we're at it, there are a few other active scams you should be aware of:

  • Scammers are attempting to use fraudulent cheques or drafts to pay for goods or services sold on Kijiji
  • Online fraudsters are posing as Canada Revenue Agency sending links to fake e-Transfers. CRA does not deposit money using e-Transfers.
  • Watch for emails indicating you have a parking ticket (no location provided) and that if you don't pay, the fine will increase. Don't pay or click on the link!

Posted May 25, 2017

WannaCrypt Ransomware update

Many of you will have read articles and viewed newscasts this weekend regarding the worldwide WannaCry Ransomeware cyber attack. Although the threat is waning at the moment, many experts suggest it may rise again this week, either because of business email traffic picking back up after the weekend, or because the perpetrators will have modified the attacking malware to overcome the protections in place.

At ATB the currency of our systems and monitoring by internal team members means that we have not been affected by the malware.

However, as the malware enters organizations via social engineering and phishing—the act of disguising electronic communication as coming from a trusted source—you should be very wary of emails containing links or attachments. Also be very careful about the internet sites you are visiting.

Our best advice: If you have any doubt about a link or attachment in an email, please contact the sender to make certain what they've sent you is legitimate.

Posted May 15, 2017

WannaCrypt Ransomware alert

There is a new variant of ransomware known as WannaCrypt that is active worldwide. A number of organizations, including UK hospitals, have been infected.

The delivery methodology is based on social engineering and phishing attempts.

Once active, the malware encrypts data on the infected device and demands ransom for the unencrypt key. Unlike most ransomware that encrypts only accessible files from a single device (i.e. computer or server), this variant also moves laterally within the environment via administrative rights and therefore has the ability to encrypt not one but all computers and servers in the environment.

As always, please be extremely cautious when opening email attachments. If there is any doubt, please contact the sender to make certain the attachment they have sent is legitimate. If your personal device has been infected, and if you have a backup of your files, you should be able to restore the information once your device has been wiped clean.

Posted May 13, 2017

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 https://www.atb.com or https://get.atb.com. 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 fraud@atb.com

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. And to further protect yourself, be sure to sign up for Enhanced Security, if you haven’t already.

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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