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5 ways to protect yourself from fraud when online banking

Greater Vancouver Credit Union goes the extra mile for its members
Greater Vancouver Community Credit Union provides tips on how to protect your online bank account from fraud.

It seems like every day fraudsters come up with new and clever ways to scam people out of money.

From fake CRA calls to phishing emails, it’s important to be on high alert for online banking fraud.

Unfortunately, there is little recourse for anyone who has been a victim of fraud to recover the money lost, which makes it even more urgent to put safeguards in place to prevent oneself from becoming a victim of fraud.

Protecting its members’ personal and financial information is a key priority for Greater Vancouver Community (GVC) Credit Union.

Banking with a personal touch is a key touchstone for GVC Credit Union, one of the oldest credit unions in British Columbia.

“We are very human-centric. Although we have all the latest technology for our members including online banking, remote deposits, and tap cards, we really focus on being there for people in person,” marketing and administration manager Victoria Kowalski says.

“While things are shifting to be self-serve and most people are going electronic, we’re here to cater to people who need more of a face-to-face interaction.”

When you call GVC Credit Union, a real person picks up the phone—no automated messaging or frustrating menus to sort through.

In the same way, GVC Credit Union takes a more holistic approach to lending. They go beyond the formula produced by a computer algorithm, and instead look at the whole picture of the member’s finances and their ability to pay back a loan.

“We take the time to work with our members to help them reach their financial goals,” Kowalski says

GVC Credit Union is especially concerned by the rising rates of banking frauds and offers these tips to keep personal banking information safe.

1. Set up auto-deposit

A common form of online banking fraud is Interac e-transfer theft. If a malicious actor has access to your email account, they could intercept an e-transfer meant for you and deposit it into their own bank account instead.

“Once that e-transfer is intercepted, it’s gone,” Kowalski says.

The easiest way to prevent that is to register for auto-deposit with your online banking account. It allows any e-transfers sent to your email to be automatically deposited into your bank account so they are impossible to be fraudulently intercepted.

2. Use two-factor authentication and alerts

Two-factor authentication sends a one-time use code via text or email to enter into your browser after you have logged in before you can access your account.

This ensures that even if someone has accessed your login information, they still are unable to get into your bank account without the unique security code.

When you set up online alerts, a notification is sent to you by text or email when certain activity occurs on your account, allowing you to quickly identify and stop suspicious activity.

3. Anti-virus malware software

Hackers will attempt to access your personal information that could give clues to access your online financial accounts. Ensuring your computer is protected from malware reduces the risk of your financial information being accessed and exploited.

4. Question the request

Beware of emails from your financial institution requesting you reset your password. These are usually phishing scams attempting to retrieve your login information.

“They may look real with the logo and everything, but we would never email you about that,” Kowalski says.

If you get a strange request for banking information, whether it’s from a financial institution or the government, take the time to check with the source directly. Call your financial institution and double-check the veracity.

5. Be wary of who you trust

“People who are close to you who wouldn’t expect to steal your login might. It’s not necessarily a stranger. Be very vigilant about who you share your information with,” Kowalski says.

Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for family members to attempt to access money that is not theirs. Be cautious about who you share your information with.

To start banking with a financial institution made for real people, visit