Stolen or lost devices or SIM cardsIf you suspect your device or SIM card has been compromised in any way, please contact the Bell Mobility Loss Prevention team at 1 800 509-9904 immediately.
You should also:
- Inform your financial institution as soon as possible as mobile phone numbers are used for banking website authentication.
- Update ALL of your passwords used for online access to banking, bell.ca, social media sites, etc.
SIM swap and porting fraud
SIM swap is a type of identity theft that occurs when a fraudster uses a combination of techniques to obtain your personal Bell account information. They use this information to satisfy our strictly enforced customer authentication processes to request a SIM change. After the SIM change, the fraudster will use your account for voice/text/data/roaming, and possibly to commit further identity theft fraud using your mobile number for authentication purposes such as at financial institutions.
Porting fraud is another type of identity theft that occurs when a fraudster obtains your personal account information to transfer your phone number from one service provide to another. All network operators adhere to the same number porting system administered by the Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association. Porting fraud is similar to SIM Swap, as the fraudster is looking to gain control of your mobile phone number to facilitate other types of fraud which could include access to your banking and other accounts.
How to protect yourself:
- Don’t respond to requests for personal information such as your bank account number, even if they say they are from a company’s customer service, help desk or corporate security department.
- Be wary of seemingly urgent messages, slightly altered websites or email addresses, and emails with spelling and grammatical errors.
- Don’t forward warnings that come with labels like “send this to everyone you know”, even if they appear to come from a credible source. These messages are hoaxes, and if they include any links or attachments, they can be dangerous to your friends’ computers.
- Never share your PINs and passwords. Use complex passwords that are hard to guess and change them regularly. Do not reuse passwords across accounts or websites.
How do fraudsters get your personal information?
Fraudsters will attempt to trick people into divulging personal or confidential information such as addresses, account numbers, contract details and passwords. This can occur in person, by phone, email or text messaging, and can lead to identity theft fraud and financial losses.
Fraudsters can use an urgent or distressing background story to exploit a person’s inclination to help others, or it can be personalized to be meaningful to you. These social engineering techniques can be difficult to recognize. It’s very important for customers to be cautious about any requests to share personal information.
Phishing is a form of fraud that uses email messages with phony addresses, websites or pop-up windows to gather your personal information, which can then be used for identity theft.
A scammer might send an email asking you to update your Bell billing details to keep your account active. The email will ask you to click on a link taking you to a website that looks like Bell’s, where you’ll be asked for your login and account details. Alternately, the email may say you have a problem and need to click on or open an attachment to solve it. But if you click on it, you could install something damaging to your device, or trigger your device to send your personal information to the phisher.
Phishing can also be in the form of emails offering money for work-at-home jobs, or asking for help with frozen bank accounts, or offering discounted pharmaceuticals, trips, etc.
With vishing (voice phishing), the scammer will attempt to gather your personal or financial information over the phone instead of by email. A scammer might call to sell you new rate plans (which are phony), ask you to complete a survey, promise you an incentive or tell you that they’re updating your account and want you to “confirm” details.
As another example, 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.
Smishing (SMS phishing) uses text messaging to gather personal or financial information that can be used for identity theft.
A scammer might send you a text message asking you to visit a specific website or to call a number. At this point, you would be asked to provide sensitive information, such as credit card number, to access an account or for “security reasons”. The message usually demands your immediate attention.
Here are some examples:
- "We confirm that you have signed up for our dating service. You will be charged $2 a day unless you cancel your order on this URL: [URL]".
- "(Name of popular online bank) confirms that you have purchased a computer from (name of popular computer company). Visit [URL] if you did not make this online purchase"
- "(Name of a financial institution): Your account has been suspended. Call 235.654.6969 immediately to reactivate"
The URL provided will likely bring you to a credible-looking website that will ask for personal information to continue.
How do I know if communications I receive are really from Bell?
Bell communicates with customers regularly, and we have rules about requesting personal information as well as what we include in our communications.
Communications to our customers will never:
- Request personal information, such as passwords, PIN numbers, banking or credit card information (unless we are responding to an initial telephone inquiry made by you).
- Include links to virus removal tools. Instead we will direct you to support.bell.ca/Internet
- Include executable (.exe) file attachments (programs).
If you have any doubt or concern about a communication you receive from us, please contact Bell customer service.
How to protect yourself
- Be realistic; if it seems to be too good to be true, it probably is.
- Don’t respond to requests for personal information such as your bank account number in an email.
- Be wary of alarmist, seemingly urgent messages, slightly altered web or email addresses and emails with spelling and grammar mistakes.
- Don’t forward virus warnings that come with "send this to everyone you know" requests, even if they appear to come from a credible source. These messages are hoaxes, and if they include any links or attachments, they can be dangerous to yours and your friends’ computers.
- Be aware of the communication policies of the companies you use and what types of messages they will send.
How to report it
- If you think you’ve been a target of any type of phone or Internet fraud, you should call the Canadian Anti-Fraud Call Centre, at 1 888 495-8501 or visit Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.
- If the phishing scam involves the false representation of Bell, email the situation to firstname.lastname@example.org
Malware programs are transmitted through the Internet and can be installed on your phone when you download certain apps or files, or if you visit certain websites.
Malware lets criminals access your phone to disrupt its operations or to change or steal data. Malware can be difficult to detect, as it generally doesn’t appear in the list of installed programs.
How to protect yourself
- Beware of email, text or Facebook messages containing shortened links or other attachments.
- Select apps that let you opt out of information sharing.
- Before downloading an app, do some research and see if it has been reviewed by a reputable source. Avoid the latest trend until it has been out long enough to earn the trust of reputable reviewers.
- Be aware that your phone will be more susceptible to malware if you jailbreak it (i.e., modify or override its operating system to remove restrictions).
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
Missed call/One ring scam
The missed call scam or one ring scam is a type of fraud where scammers call your phone and hang up quickly. Your phone registers a missed call from a number you don’t recognize. If you call the number to find out who called you, you may end up paying a premium rate for the call without warning. The same can be done using text messaging.
How to protect yourself
- Never reply to missed calls or text messages from numbers you do not recognize.
- Don’t call or send text messages to phone numbers beginning with 1 900 unless you are aware of the cost involved.
- Read the terms and conditions of all offers very carefully. Services offering free or very cheap products often have hidden costs.