We are constantly hearing about how it’s important to keep our accounts and financial information safe and secure, but how do you do that? We walk you through how to recognize, reject and report the most common types of scams to help you become more aware and protect yourself from fraud.


Fraudsters impersonating government agencies, banks, communication providers or other companies send text messages to potential victims to lure them into providing personal or financial information, such as usernames, passwords, credit/debit card numbers, PINs and other sensitive data that can be used to commit financial crimes. Please be aware that Scotiabank will not send you text messages or emails asking you to validate or restore your account access by asking for your passwords, PINs or account numbers.


Imposters call and identify themselves as a representative of a well-known technology company, such as Microsoft or Windows. They claim that your computer has been hacked and must be serviced for a fee payable by credit card or money transfer. These individuals will remotely access your computer and may run malicious programs, alter settings or steal personal information.


Impersonating employees of the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), fraudsters call unwitting victims to falsely claim that there are discrepancies from past tax returns and that payment is required immediately.

They then threaten that failure to do so will result in additional fees and/or jail time.

Bank Investigator

Consumers are contacted by phone and asked for assistance to catch a bank employee who has been stealing money. The victim is instructed to visit their bank branch and to make a cash withdrawal from their account without disclosing the reason, as the teller may be involved in the scam. Finally, the victim is directed either to place the cash in an envelope and meet the “investigator” or send the money through a wire service, such as Western Union.

Mail Scams

Victims receive unsolicited mail advising them that they are either the beneficiary of an inheritance from a distant relative or have won a lottery. In order for funds to be released, the victim is asked to pay one or more upfront fees.


Unscrupulous individuals will use dating or social networking sites to seek out potential victims and gain their trust over a few months. Once the perpetrator has gained their confidence, they will eventually ask for assistance in paying travel costs to meet them or for money to cover an emergency.


Consumers seeking loans may stumble upon offers through advertising or websites designed to resemble legitimate lending institutions. Once the victim has provided their personal information and has been approved—all are approved— they are informed their loan will be deposited into their account within 24 hours of sending an upfront fee. Once the fee is received, the fraudster ends communication, and no loan money is provided.

Financial fraud preventive tips


Be wary of those impersonating the bank

Scotiabank will not send you text messages or emails asking you to validate or restore your account access by asking for your:

  • Password for Scotia OnLine and Scotia Mobile Banking
  • Personal Identification Number (PIN) for either your ScotiaCard or credit cards
  • Account numbers, for any type of account
Visit our How to protect yourself from financial fraudSecurity Centre to report fraud or any suspicious activity, and to learn more about how to protect yourself.


Legal Disclaimer: This article is provided for information purposes only. It is not to be relied upon as investment advice or guarantees about the future, nor should it be considered a recommendation to buy or sell. Information contained in this article, including information relating to interest rates, market conditions, tax rules, and other investment factors are subject to change without notice and The Bank of Nova Scotia is not responsible to update this information. All third party sources are believed to be accurate and reliable as of the date of publication and The Bank of Nova Scotia does not guarantee its accuracy or reliability. Readers should consult their own professional advisor for specific investment and/or tax advice tailored to their needs to ensure that individual circumstances are considered properly and action is taken based on the latest available information.