Scammers are using recent telecommunications outages to cash in! One fake claim that’s made its way to social media falsely says that “R0GERS WIRELESS INC.” is offering a $50 credit to make up for the inconvenience if people click on a link. One clue that it’s a fake is that the message spells Rogers with a zero instead of an O, although that’s harder to detect because the company name is spelled in capital letters. Rogers is offering credits to customers, but that $50 flat-rate figure is bogus, and the link is potentially dangerous because it doesn’t come from the company. A Rogers spokesperson said the real credit is equal to one day’s service, so the amount depends on the customer.  A credit will go automatically to bills in May, so customers are warned not to click on the link.

Other possibilities are more convincing. A text hits your phone’s inbox. There’s a text with minimal information but it seems that your Costco refund is now available. Just click the link below to have it deposited to your account. The text seems believable, Costco texts you when your prescription is ready…WAIT! Before you click any link, THINK! How are refunds normally handled at this establishment? Do they ask you to log into your online banking or credit card online portal through a random unsolicited link? Or do they apply any refunds directly back to you in the manner in which you initially paid for the purchase, like your debit card, for example? What seems more likely? Now replace the company you received the text from. Instead of Costco now the text is from the CRA, or VISA Cashback Rewards or Airmiles. The answer is likely the same. SCAM!

If you click on the link or attachment, you will likely download a virus or malware to your phone. Or the link may open a fraudulent internet banking, credit card or Airmiles log in page. If you fall for it and enter your credentials, you have given the scammers access to your passwords… all while falling for the premise of a few dollars to be refunded to you. Now the scammer can potentially access your bank account, request balance transfers to cards or accounts that are not yours or redeem those Airmiles that have been piling up since the beginning of the pandemic. Before you fall for a text or email saying that you are entitled to a refund that you weren’t expecting. Investigate! Call the institution on a number you know to be true, not one provided in the text message. Please note that if you are entitled to receive any interest, dividends or reimbursements from the Energy CU we will credit your account directly. If you have questions please call our offices at 416-238-5606.

 

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