June 15, 2024

The tax period, already a jumbled mess, is also one of the most dangerous times of the year for becoming a scam victim.

We feel your pain. It’s just not fair, is it?

Shockingly, cyber fraud losses reported by Canadians last year were a whopping $554 million. Isn’t that chillling?

Image courtesy of TELUS

During taxing periods like the tax season, the threats escalate as scammers ramp up their tactics to steal individuals’ personal details, frequently posing as banks or the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).

So, what’s the best way to shield yourself?

Surprisingly, even tech-savvy folks in Canada can fall for scams.

Matthew Moniz, a tech expert and TELUS Online Security partner, can attest to this, having been duped twice himself.

Initially, a scammer used his driver’s license to obtain a credit card resulting in a year-long ordeal with debt collectors. More recently, his credentials were wrongly used to purchase two mobile devices, narrowly avoiding a $3,700 loss. This just goes to highlight the importance of remaining on alert and taking your digital security seriously.

Are you ready to step up your protection and figuratively dig that moat around yourself?

Let’s dive into Matthew Moniz’s key pointers on safeguarding yourself online:

Tip 1: Evade the ‘Phishing’ Trap

Ever received an email, a text, or a call that seemed suspicious? It could be about a package stuck at the customs that you don’t recall ordering, or a banking alert from a bank you don’t have an account with.

These online pitfalls are known as phishing scams, devised to snatch your personal details or deceive you into paying for nonexistent services.

Around tax time, such phishing scams often feign identities of authorized bodies like the CRA. They may be crafty, but usually, they exhibit some hints of fraud.

Moniz encourages being mindful of sender domains and look out for panic inducing messages, threatening language, and unusual demands such as payments via Interac e-transfer, bitcoin, prepaid credit cards, or gift cards. When unsure, directly verify requests with the organization using their official contact details.

Tip 2: Fortify Your Home (Internet)

Your home, much like your home internet, should be your stronghold, especially when dealing with confidential data such as tax filing or bill payments.

Moniz suggests employing a Virtual Private Network (VPN) for safety should you ever have to use public WiFi. TELUS Online Security boasts of the fastest and most reliable VPN in Canada, ensuring your data remains safe with bank-grade encryption, even as you shop or message on the go.

**According to a test conducted by independent body PassMark Software commissioned by Gen in November 2023, performance metrics and competitor list were selected by Gen.

Tip 3: Secure All Locks

Your digital lock-and-key, in other words: passwords, often taken for granted, are paramount to your online safety. Remember, it should be harder to guess than the word ‘password’ or something as simple as your pet’s name and your birth year.

Moniz advocates having unique and complex passwords for each account, enabling Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) wherever possible. A secure password manager is also advisable for safekeeping all your passwords in an encrypted vault only you can access.

Tip 4: Engage a (Digital) Bodyguard

It’s a no-brainer that a robust cybersecurity system is a must on all your devices, but for the sake of emphasis, we repeat it!

Just like a digital bodyguard, TELUS Online Security shields you from cybercriminals. This robust service, powered by Norton and accessible to all Canadians, provides a password manager and round-the-clock monitoring against threats to your identity and devices, including viruses and malicious websites.

TELUS Online Security also keeps you in the loop with alerts†  for suspicious activities on your financial accounts and credit file – helping you act promptly if something seems off.

In the unfortunate event of your identity being stolen, rest assured, they have a team of experts ready to guide you through the recovery process, alleviating some stress.

Congratulations, your online information just got as secure as Fort Knox!

Discover more about TELUS Online Security and their various plan offerings online.

TELUS ONLINE SECURITY

Note: TELUS does not monitor all transactions at all businesses.
Preventing all cybercrime or identity theft is impossible. Activation via Norton is required.

Alicia Lyons

About Alicia Lyons

Branded Content Writer

Alicia is a gifted raconteur who followed the sun all the way to Calgary and decided to stay put. When she’s not weaving enchanting tales, she can be found on nature trails, cocooned under a fuzzy blanket with an engrossing book, or seeking any reason to eat.

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