“Why does my bank ask so many questions when I call or visit a branch?”
“Why do I need to do multi-factor authentication to access my online banking?”
These extra steps may seem cumbersome when you want to do simple banking tasks for your business. However, in a world of ever increasing fraud and scam cases, they are necessary. They are some of ATB’s methods of preventing you from becoming a victim of fraud.
The CAFC (Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre) had 92,078 reports of fraud
and $531,000,000 lost by victims in 2022 alone!
When an ATB representative speaks with you, they need to be certain that you are the real you, not a fraudster who has collected some of your information and is posing as you in order to commit a crime. The same principle applies with online banking access. The checks and verifications that we have put in place are there to keep fraudsters from accessing your business and personal accounts.
At ATB, we do our best to protect you from our end, but it is important that you actively protect yourself as well. Fraudsters have many tactics to get to your information and are becoming more sophisticated every day. Some examples of how they may get your personal information are:
- Phishing or Smishing (using fake official emails, text messages, social media or other digital communication to manipulate you into revealing information)
- Posing as bank or government employees on the phone or internet
- Fraudulent links in search engines that lead to imitations of legitimate websites
Once a fraudster has your personal information they can attempt to:
- Make purchases in your name or that of your business
- Take over your personal or business accounts
- Commit mortgage, cheque, insurance, credit or wire fraud
- Create “mule accounts” in your name for money laundering
- Create credit accounts with suppliers in your business’ name
- Gain access to your customers or employees personal information
To avoid becoming a victim of fraud and having to deal with the complex consequences, it is imperative that you and your employees know how to spot potential scams.
For example, scammers may attempt to pose as ATB representatives. They may call, email or text you stating that there is an urgent matter that must be dealt with. They will then attempt to extract personal and business information from you.
To protect yourself:
- Know that ATB will not text you with a link to login to your account, this should be detected as a red flag.
- Always access ATB Online Banking by navigating from ATB.com. Don’t use a search engine or click a link in an email to find ATB Online Banking.
- Do not provide any information over the phone. Disconnect the call and call back using a trusted source, such as phone numbers on ATB.com, your bank statement or on the back of your debit card.
- If you think your password has been compromised, change it immediately and contact us at 1-800-332-8383.
- Click here for more information on staying secure online with your ATB accounts.
Here are some general tips to follow in all your day to day dealings that will help you avoid falling into a fraudster’s trap:
- Be sure that your employees or partners are set with the proper amount of authority on your accounts (including your bank and government accounts).
- Educate your employees on detecting possible scams, spotting fraudulent texts/emails and proper setup of online security. Visit the Canada Anti-Fraud Centre website for up to date information and education on fraud prevention.
- Do not reveal personal or sensitive information to any unsolicited calls, texts or emails. (Personal information includes but is not limited to: your full name, address, birth date, social insurance number, federal business number, bank or credit card information.)
- Do not assume that the number appearing on your call display is accurate.
- Always access your bank or government accounts directly through that organizations website (not through email links or search engine results)
- Enable multi-factor authentication on all banking and government websites where you access your accounts.
By working together, we can prevent fraud and keep you and your business safe!
For up to date information on how to protect your business, subscribe to the ATB Entrepreneur Newsletter.