Knowledge Centre

Staying Safe From Common Scams


Every day, companies around the world fall victim to sophisticated scams.

Employees at all levels are tricked into sending money, sharing data and granting access to fraudsters. Don’t let this happen to you. Use this guide to learn how to stay safe.


Common Email & Phone Scams

Stay informed about common scams so you can avoid them.


“Wire funds to me right away”

Scammers contact you by email or phone you posing as the CEO or other senior-level executive. They claim to need money for a business opportunity, emergency or another urgent matter. They ask you to wire funds immediately to an unfamiliar account.


  “Here’s your invoice for our recent work” Fraudsters hack into a vendor’s email system and send you an invoice. It looks legitimate but the account number is different. If you pay that invoice, that money will go straight to the scammer.

Beneficiary change

“Send payment to our new account”

You get an email that looks like it’s from your supplier – but it’s actually from a fraudster. They tell you their banking information has changed and ask you to send payments to a different account.


“I’ll need your password and token value” The scammer calls you pretending to be a Bank employee. They claim they’re working on the banking website and ask for your password, token value or other confidential data.


Red Flags

If you notice any of these warning signs, be on guard. You may be dealing with a scammer.

Something doesn’t look right

·       Minor changes in the email address or domain name.

·       Differences in the invoice, letterhead, fax or email template.

·       Poor grammar or spelling.

·       Unfamiliar supplier or vendor.

·       Altered beneficiary and transaction information.

Something doesn’t sound right

·       Strong sense of urgency, “You must act immediately.”

·       Demand for secrecy, “Keep the payment details confidential.”

·       Communication challenges, “I can’t talk, I can only email.”

·       Contact information that’s different from what you have on file.

·       A desire to skip regular approval processes.


Prevent It

Don’t become victim. Use these simple actions to help keep your company safe from scammers.

1.     Before you act on the request

·       Stop and think about what you’ve been asked to do. Does it seem unusual in any way?

·       Pick up the phone and call someone you know to verify an unusual request.

·       Talk to your manager about your concerns.

·       Get in touch with a known contact to confirm banking changes in writing.

·       Remember, Scotiabank will never ask you for passwords, token values, or other confidential information.

2.     Establish and follow policies and procedures

·       Have payments approved by more than one person.

·        Regularly review and reconcile transactions logs and payment reports.

·       Keep an up-to-date and detailed supplier/payee directory and use it frequently.

·       Create a process to recall a payment that may be fraudulent.

Want To Learn More?

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Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre

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