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How to protect yourself from fraudulent marketing

Bell takes fraud very seriously. We are working with the appropriate authorities to protect consumers from people who use our name to commit fraud, but it is an ongoing problem for every large service business .

What is telemarketing fraud?

Some of our customers have had calls from fraudulent telemarketing “operators” claiming to be from Bell. For example, the operators may try to sell new rate plans (which are phony) or they may tell you that they’re updating your account and want you to “confirm” details. Their goal is to trick you into releasing personal information like credit card numbers or social insurance numbers, which can then be used for further fraud. Another example is the use of a pre-recorded message promising customers travel rewards or a $100 credit on their next bill and directing customers to a fake site that “looks” like a legitimate site or a 1-800 number to try to trick customers into disclosing their personal information.

Some customers have also received calls from operators, claiming to be from a third party security software company, alerting them to a virus on their computer. These operators say that they need to access your computer remotely to fix the problem. This allows them to copy malware onto your computer. They may also ask for credit card information to charge you fees. Do not let any third party have access to your computer. If you receive such a call, please contact the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at 1 888 495-8501 or www.antifraudcentre.ca.

If you get a suspicious call:

  • Do not give out your personal information. Legitimate companies will never call or e-mail their customers requesting information such as passwords, bank account information or a credit card number, unless they are responding directly to an inquiry you know you have made (See Bell’s Privacy article.)
  • If you suspect that you are speaking with a fraud telemarketer, you should end the call and contact the business or organization through its regular channels, for example, 310-Bell.
  • Beware of being directed to websites that “look” like the sites from legitimate organizations – it is always best to access the site of a legitimate organization from its direct homepage, e.g. www.bell.ca.

If you think you’ve given information to fraudsters

  • If you think that you have given personal information to a fraud operator posing as a Bell representative, please call 310-Bell (2355) immediately. Give us as much information as possible about the exact date and time of the call.
  • If you think you’ve been a target of any type of phone or internet fraud, you should also call PhoneBusters, the Canadian Anti-Fraud Call Centre, at 1-888-495-8501 or contact phonebusters.com.

Education is your best protection.

  • Beware of suspiciously generous offers or prizes from any company.
  • Look out for aggressive marketing tactics, pressure to “act now,” instructions to pay administrative fees for the delivery of a prize or product, etc.
  • Very short offer-expiry dates are often a sign of a scam. Short expiries reduce the risk of the fraudster being traced by authorities.
  • Buy a shredder so you can destroy personal documents that you no longer need. You can be targeted for identity theft by fraud artists who find credit-card bills, etc., in your recycling.
  • Be cautious about posting personal information on public websites as those details can be used by fraudsters to convince you that they represent Bell or other companies.
  • Learn about “phishing” and Internet fraud and take steps to protect yourself.

    Want more information?

    See Bell’s Privacy Policy

    Last Updated:12/07/2011

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