We all need to be safe and secure as E-Transfers become the most used payment method, especially since COVID. Incidents of e-transfer fraud continue to target us over the phone, via text messages, emails, and in person. The Real Estate industry is not immune to this and Sellers, Buyers and Real Estate Agents and their Broekrages are also dealing with this type of fraud.
Be aware of how you can spot e-transfer fraud and protect yourself by:
- Creating strong security questions and passwords;
- Contacting the person who sent the request or transfer to establish its authenticity before acting;
- Avoid clicking on phishing links; and
- Report fraudulent activity to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.
Sending an E-Transfer
First, e-transfer fraud occurs when a third party is able to intercept an email money transfer and correctly guess or obtain the password.
It is also important to note that once the recipient has deposited the funds, the e-transfer transaction cannot be reversed. Therefore, exercise caution and always send an e-transfer to someone you know and trust.
Security Questions & Passwords
If you are sending an e-transfer, banks provide important tips that could help you protect yourself.
Bank providers recommend using an effective security question and answer that isn't easily guessable, and is known only to the sender and the recipient. Senders should not include the password in the message that accompanies the transfer, or send it by email to the recipient. But if you do have to communicate the password via email, make sure the subject line is something inocuous and different from what you are actually writing about!
I also suggest not reusing the same security question and answer for multiple recipients.
Receiving an E-Transfer
If you are expecting an e-transfer from someone, you may find it helpful to contact the person who sent the request or transfer to establish its authenticity before acting.
Interac also recommends:
“If you receive an Interac e-transfer text or email you weren't expecting, confirm with the Sender via another channel. If the email or text comes from someone you don't know, or you suspect it to be fraudulent, don't respond or click any links. Forward the email right away to email@example.com”.