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Digital security

Email, text and phone fraud: Can you tell a fake message from a real one?

July 12, 2023

Phishing, a type of fraud carried out through unsolicited emails, phone calls (vishing) or text messages (smishing), is becoming increasingly sophisticated. Read on for some tips to help you tell if they're real or not.

Scammers have been known to pose as financial institution employees, government officials, police officers, relatives and representatives of a not-for-profit organization. Their goal: to get you to give up confidential information or transfer them money.

But even if the list of false pretenses might seem endless, there are a few clues that could help you spot a scammer in action.

  • Fraudsters sometimes use a method called "spoofing" that includes forging the name the victim sees when they're contacted. The victim might then believe that the phone number or email address is legitimate and can be trusted. Pay extra attention if the call seems suspicious or unusual, and if you have slightest doubt, hang up.

Some red flags

For example, if a real Desjardins advisor calls you or sends you an email or text, they’ll never ask you to:

  • Share personal or confidential information, like your social insurance number
  • Answer security questions
  • Provide your PIN or password
  • Provide a single-use security code. you might have been sent during the call

If they ask you for any of this information, consider it a red flag.

If you’re the one making the call, the Desjardins advisor might ask you to confirm your identity by:

No matter what the situation, follow the 6 steps before clicking anything and think twice before sharing your information or agreeing to transfer money.

Desjardins sends emails, texts and notifications

We send emails and text messages to share factual information. For example, you might receive a message or alert letting you know that your statement is available or that your credit card balance is approaching the limit.

You might also receive a text message asking you to confirm a credit card purchase or a log-in attempt to your account. To help keep your account more secure, these security alerts are sent from specific numbers.

Reporting fraud

If you think you may be a victim of fraud, quickly notify:

  • Your financial institution
  • The Canadian credit bureaus: TransUnion (514-335-0374 or 1-877-713-3393) and Equifax (514-493-2314 or 1-800-465-7166)
  • The police (so you can file a report)

Report the fraud to:

To learn more

Visit for more information. And if you’re ever in doubt, please contact us.

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