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How to protect yourself from telecom fraud

  • Be careful when sharing personal information. Be wary of imposters who might contact you in various ways (phone, email, etc.) to collect personal information, credit card numbers, PINs and other details.

Note:

Bell MTS will NEVER contact you to ask for this information. To make sure you're dealing with Bell MTS, you can always contact us directly.

  • Never share your PINs and passwords. Use complex passwords that are hard to guess, and change them frequently.
  • Be wary of unsolicited offers, contests and investment opportunities. Always read the fine print.
  • Don't open unsolicited email messages and don't click on links unless you trust the source.
  • Keep your computer's operating system and firewall up to date. Be wary when downloading software, apps and files onto your computer or mobile phone.
Landline phone scams

Calling card fraud

The theft happens in a number of ways. For example, fraudsters might call you and pose as a Bell representative, and then ask for your calling card number for verification purposes.

Another common scenario is that someone watches or listens as you punch in or read your calling card number at a payphone.

How to protect yourself

  • Beware of anyone who calls you requesting calling card verification. Give out your card number only when placing a call through an operator. Remember, Bell MTS will never contact you to ask for this information. To make sure you’re dealing with Bell MTS, contact us.
  • Be cautious about the information you provide over the phone. Make sure no one is watching when you key in your calling card PIN or any other PIN.
  • Check your monthly phone bill carefully for any unusual charges.
  • Never tell anyone your calling card PIN.

How to report it

If your calling card number has been lost or stolen, you should report it immediately to Bell MTS.

Internet dialer fraud

What is Internet dialer fraud?

If you use dial-up to access the Internet or can send faxes from your machine (even if you have high speed), you have a dial-up modem.

Many Internet dialers are legitimate software applications where the user initiates the connection. However, an auto-dialer virus uses your dial-up modem and your phone line to make long-distance calls without your permission. You can inadvertently acquire an auto-dialer through viruses, spyware or hackers.

How to protect yourself

  • Download and install ZoneAlarm which includes Anti-Virus and Firewall.
  • Whether you use dial-up Internet access regularly or only occasionally use the dial-up access, be aware of your computer's Internet use.
  • Program your modem to make a dialing noise so you can hear it when it makes a new connection.
  • Regardless of your Internet connection, you should unplug the phone line from your computer when you are not faxing or on the Internet.
  • Don’t use any programs that enable your modem to automatically re-dial to the Internet.
  • Ask Bell MTS to restrict your Internet phone line to local calls.
  • Read online terms and conditions carefully and be skeptical about claims like "free" and "no credit card needed" in exchange for any online product or service.
  • Increase the security settings for your operating system.

What is Bell MTS doing about auto-dialers?

We block calls to several countries that have significant auto-dialer traffic. If you want to call to these countries, you now need to do it with an operator's assistance (at no extra charge.) Unfortunately, some companies have simply moved operations to regions where call-blocking is harder to put in place.

How to report it

If you are the victim of a dialer “infection.” or find surprise charges on your phone bill, you should report it immediately to Bell MTS.

Collect call scams

In a collect call scam, you’ll receive a call from a telephone operator asking you to accept an urgent collect call. While most people won’t accept a collect call if they don’t recognize the caller, some do because they worry it might be a friend or relative in trouble. Once you agree to accept the call, you’ll be billed for the charges.

Another type of collect call scam is the third-number billing scam, in this case you’ll receive a call from a telephone operator asking you to accept the charges for a call being placed by someone else. Once you agree, you’ll be billed for the charges.

Often, the operator will repeat a persuasive argument from the other person – for example, that it’s someone you know who’s in trouble, but will not give you the person’s name.

How to protect yourself

  • Check your monthly phone bill carefully for any unusual charges.
  • If you receive a collect call or a request to accept charges for a call being placed by someone else, make sure you know who the caller is; otherwise, don't accept it.
  • Don't let strangers use your phone; if you do, dial their call yourself.

How to report it

If you notice any suspicious activity on your line, you should report it immediately to Bell MTS.

Identity theft & fraud

Identity theft occurs when someone steals your personal information. To obtain your information, a criminal might pose as a legitimate business and contact you by phone, mail, or email message (also known as “phishing”).

A criminal might even search your trash for mail containing personal information and credit card receipts. In many cases, a pre-approved credit card application gives the criminal enough information to set up a credit card in your name.

How to protect yourself

  • Don’t give out your personal information. Legitimate companies will never call or email you to request information such as passwords, bank account information or credit card numbers unless they’re responding directly to an inquiry you know you have made.
  • To make sure you’re dealing with Bell MTS, you can always contact us directly. Be cautious about posting personal information on public websites, such as social networking sites. Fraudsters might use those details to convince you that they represent Bell MTS or other companies.
  • Use a shredder to destroy documents that contain personal information.
  • Keep your passwords, bank account information and social insurance number confidential at all times.

How to report it

If you have been a victim of identity theft, you can visit the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre or call them at 1 888 495-8501.

Social engineering

A social engineering scam gets people to perform specific actions or divulge confidential information through psychological manipulation. It can be done on the Internet, over the telephone or in person. Once the scammer obtains the desired information, it can be used for identity theft, industrial espionage and other criminal activities, or to simply disrupt the normal course of business.

A caller may try to sell new rate plans (which are phony), ask you to complete a survey, promise you some kind of incentive, or they may tell you that they’re updating your account and want you to “confirm” details.

A pre-recorded message promises you travel rewards or a $100 credit on your next bill and directs you to a fake site that “looks” legitimate or to a 1 800 number.

The goal is to trick you into releasing passwords, PINs, banking or credit card details which can then be used for fraud.

Subscription fraud

Making a dishonest application using false information, or genuine but stolen information (identify theft) together with forged or stolen documentation to obtain a post-paid subscription(s) to an operator's services with no intention to pay for the service at the time of application. These documents may include; passports, driver's licenses, utility bills, bank details, work permits, etc., or whatever the network operator has specified as necessary to obtain service.

How to protect yourself

  • Keeping an eye on your credit report is your first step to protecting yourself.
  • Don’t give out your personal information. Legitimate companies will never call or email you to request information such as passwords, bank account information or credit card numbers unless they’re responding directly to an inquiry you know you have made.
  • To make sure you’re dealing with Bell MTS, you can always contact us directly. Be cautious about posting personal information on public websites, such as social networking sites. Fraudsters might use those details to convince you that they represent Bell MTS or other companies.
  • Use a shredder to destroy documents that contain personal information.
  • Keep your passwords, bank account information and social insurance number confidential at all times.
  • Check your bank and credit card statements frequently for suspicious charges.

How to report it

If you are victims of subscription fraud at Bell MTS you should report it immediately to Bell MTS.

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