With the Covid-19 Pandemic creating financial stress and uncertainty for so many and with many firms working remotely and outside of normal business processes, fraudsters are taking advantage of the situation and targeting individuals and firms with a variety of scams.
We must all be extra diligent and pay careful attention to any requests for funds, transfers, payments, account log-ins, personal information. We must also look out for vulnerable members of society, seniors, those in isolation and those with capacity issues.
One fraud that has come to our attention is a fax based scam where a lawyer’s identity is spoofed, including forged / fake signature and seal, and a request for funds payable upon death is made. Please be on the look out for this. Funds, transfers and the such should never be made without discussing directly with your counsel and / or financial advisor.
If you receive an unexpected request or demand for payment, do not respond. Follow up with your counsel and / or advisor.
The Ontario Securities Commission has released a video alerting consumers to a fraud where imposters are posing as your Financial Advisor or Bank representative and requesting personal information in the guise of ‘confirming your details’. This information if gained is used to fraudulently access your accounts and steal your money.
OSC video link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cSX0mePPFg0
If you receive a call or request for your personal information do not respond. End the call and follow up directly with your financial advisor or bank. Let them know that you received a call from an imposter. They will check for suspicious account activity and verify that no one from their institution was trying to reach you.
Always be careful and aware with your personal information and financial transactions.