Preventing Identity Theft

Ensure your identity stays with you, and you alone

Suspect suspicious activity?

Report it to us

Card lost or stolen?
Call us and let us help: 1-800-4-SCOTIA (1-800-472-6842)

See four common security risk scenarios that
you may come face-to-face with every day.

Shoulder Surfer Wifi Watcher Pin Pincher Garbage Picker
  1. Phew. You caught the bus, with no time to spare.
  2. During the ride, you check your bank balance out of habit.
  3. Uh-oh! The guy behind you is checking your bank info too!
  4. Actually, now he knows your account number and password.

Stop the
Shoulder Surfer

Protecting your password isn’t only important when using an ABM. It’s important any time you enter personal information while you are out in public. Always remember to shield your information from unwanted eyes.

  1. It's break time with your friend at the coffee shop near your office.
  2. You're early. She's late. What's a girl to do while she waits? A little online shopping!
  3. What luck = cute shoes on sale.
  4. So, you take out your credit card and buy the shoes online.
  5. But you don't realize the free wifi service is unsecure...
  6. and a hacker is shopping along with you.

Stop the
Wifi Watcher

Avoid using public wifi services when you’re transmitting sensitive information. Use your wireless data connection instead when you are shopping or banking “on the go.”

  1. You want to get a snack, but you don't have any cash on you...
  2. luckily you have your debit card.
  3. You head to an ABM without a second thought...
  4. but never notice the card skimmer or the camera pointed on you.
  5. The thief now has everything he needs.

Stop the
Pin Pincher

Card skimmers are most commonly found at ABMs. Fraudsters place a skimmer over the real card entry slot and also install cameras to capture PIN numbers.

Always pay attention to the card entry slot and the area surrounding the ABM. If anything seems odd, it’s better to try another ABM location.

  1. You grab the junk mail from your mailbox ...
  2. flip through it, and toss the unwanted mail into the recycle bin.
  3. An Identity Thief goes through your bin a few hours later ...
  4. and takes your junk mail to commit Identity Theft.

Stop the
Garbage Picker

Tear up or shred any pre-approved credit card offers you don’t respond to before tossing them into your garbage. Also shred documents that contain personal information (i.e., bank statements).

Start Over
Close Next Slide
Scenario 1 of 4 » Shoulder Surfer
Scenario 2 of 4 » Wifi Watcher
Scenario 3 of 4 » Pin Pincher
Scenario 4 of 4 » Garbage Picker
  • Protect your PIN, Passwords and Access Code: (online, phone, ABM, direct payment, mobile)
  • Memorize your PIN (Personal Identification Number) and TeleScotia and Scotia OnLine passwords. Choose PIN/passwords that cannot be guessed by others and do not write them down
  • Change your PIN number and passwords periodically
  • Select unique PIN and passwords for each of your banking cards
  • Don't use the same numbers from your Access Code in your password, and vice versa
  • If you use your VISA card online, register for Verified by VISA, a free service that provides an extra layer of protection and guards against unauthorized use online

Learn more about how to protect your PIN

Many people let their guard down when using social networking sites by sharing potentially sensitive information with people they don’t really know too well, or at all. Some people are surprised to learn that online criminals try to figure out passwords or open fraudulent credit cards based on the personal information they find online. Here are a few tips to remember:

  • Limit the amount of personal information you post about yourself
  • Be selective when accepting friends
  • Never assume a message is from the person it says it’s from
  • Think first and know what you are installing before you install extras
  • Be careful when clicking on links sent from friends

And lastly, remember that everything you post and include on your social pages may be permanent, even after you’ve closed your account.

Do not use public computers to access Scotia OnLine. Because they are located in public locations, criminals can easily place viruses or malicious programs on the computer that have the ability to record keystrokes and capture usernames and passwords. Here are a few more helpful safety tips:

  • Avoid typing your credit card number or any other sensitive financial information into any public computer
  • Beware of strangers looking over your shoulder; they could be thieves trying to collect your personal information
  • Always log out from any personal site you visit, for example your email accounts, instant messenger program or social networking websites
  • Never leave the computer unattended with personal information on the screen
  • Shred documents that contain personal information (i.e., bank statements). Also tear up or shred any pre-approved credit card offers you don’t respond to
  • Destroy old and expired bank and credit cards
  • Destroy carbons and receipts that may contain account numbers and/or signatures
  • Keep a list of all your card numbers and ID in a safe place
  • Minimize the identification information and number of cards that you carry. Do not carry your Social Insurance card, passport or birth certificate unless needed that day
  • Store cancelled cheques, chequebooks and account statements in a safe place. Report lost or stolen cheques, credit or debit cards immediately
  • Retrieve and review your mail promptly. Learn more about Mail Fraud
  • Sign the back of any new cards (both credit and debit cards) as soon as you get them
  • Activate new credit cards immediately if the feature is offered
  • Do not leave your bank and credit cards unattended and do not let them out of your sight when making a purchase. Learn more about Card Skimming
  • Never leave cards unattended at work (the workplace is a common place for theft)

Credit & Statement Reports

  • Review your Credit report at least once every year. Make sure all information is up-to-date and accurate
  • Review your bank account and credit card statements promptly. Know when to expect them and inquire with the bank/company if you do not receive them when expected (within a reasonable amount of time)

Helpful References