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Fraud Awareness

Identify and Prevent Scams

While pickpockets can only target a few people each day, Internet fraudsters cast their nets much wider, using the anonymity and reach of mass emails and fake websites.  You can protect yourself from these situations by knowing how to identify and avoid these scams.

We take attempts to defraud our members very seriously.  If you receive correspondence that you think may not be from Lafleche Credit, please report it to us.

Quick tips to avoid scams:

  • Never use a link provided in an email or text to access your Online Banking (because we don’t send those, scammers do!).
  • Do not open emails, texts or attachments from unknown sources.
  • Scan your emails using anti-virus software.
  • Read before you click!  It is important to understand that electronic messaging is not a secure form of communication. Lafleche Credit Union will never send you an unsolicited email or text message that asks you to provide sensitive personal information like your social security number, bank account number, and credit card information, ID questions like your mother’s maiden name or your password.

Understand Phishing and Smishing


A common way for Internet scammers to obtain your personal information is through a method called phishing.  Usernames, passwords, banking information and credit card details are phished through email or instant messaging.  Phishing works by sending communications, which appear to be from your financial institution, but they are not.  You are asked, supposedly by your financial institution, to log in to your online banking to verify account information.  Often some type of security concern is cited as the issue. The fake email instructs you to click on a link that takes you to a non-legitimate version of your online banking site – one that is largely indistinguishable from the legitimate site – and you’ll be asked to enter your credentials.


Smishing is similar to phishing in that it is a fraudulent attempt to obtain sensitive information.  Smishing is done using text messages purporting to be from reputable companies.

Phishing or smishing messages may include:

  • Warnings about account closures
  • Requests to update your information
  • Offers to register for a new service
  • Offers for pre-approved credit cards
  • Free virus-protection programs

Once you click on the link, which directs you to a phishing website, you’ll be prompted to enter personal or banking information.  Phishing and smishing scams seek personal details, such as your address, social security number or mother’s maiden name.  The details obtained will then be used for identity theft.

Scam emails or text messages purporting to be from your credit card company or financial institution often have some telling signs, including:

  • Poor spelling or grammar
  • Alarmist content, warning that your account will be closed if you don’t provide your banking or personal details immediately
  • Notices that you’ve won a prize and are required to pay a fee in order to claim it

Never provide personal details or any account details in an email or text message.  Electronic messaging is not a secure form of communication. If you receive a message that you are unsure about, please contact us.

Understand Pharming

Another way for hackers to get their hands on your personals details is by pharming them.  Pharming occurs when hackers use a malicious code on your PC, which compromises your computer’s host file and redirects you to fake websites.  The malware hides the fraudulent URL, cloaking it in the legitimate one that appears in your browser.  With pharming, the dishonest redirection of URLs happens even when you type correct URLs directly into your browser, making you think that you’re on the correct website when you are not.  Once there, you are asked to enter your online banking credentials or account information, which hackers take and use for criminal activity.

Watch for Malicious Software

**Be sure to install anti-virus software on your computer to protect your information, money and privacy.  Such software detects viruses and cleans your computer so that harmful viruses do not spread.  Set up your anti-virus to run frequent scans and update the software as soon as it is required.  Ensure you have real-time scanning of every email and every file you download.**


Malicious software (malware), spyware, worms and Trojans are the same class of destructive viruses; just with different names. Nobody wants a computer virus.  They can steal your personal information, take over your PC and use your computer to attack other people’s computers.  Your PC can become infected through email attachments, downloading infected content or visiting harmful websites.


Spyware is exactly what it sounds like – tracking software that is downloaded to your computer (without your knowledge) when you visit certain Internet sites.  Secretly, it gathers information about you and your browsing habits.  This information can be trivial or it can include passwords and personal data that you wouldn’t want criminals to get their hands on.  It can also interfere with user controls and disable legitimate anti-virus programs.

The best way to protect your computer against spyware is smart browsing.  Stay away from sites that look unsafe and avoid streaming or downloading content from untrustworthy sources.  Many anti-virus products offer targeted spyware solutions that inspect your operating system, installed programs, downloads and files.


One of the most common viruses to watch out for is known as scareware.  These scams pop-up on your screen and display alarmist warnings, telling you a virus has invaded your computer.  Scareware prompts you to download (and often pay for) fake anti-virus software to remove the non-existent viruses.  Scareware is a scam that tries to trick you into paying money in exchange for nothing.

You can protect against scareware by keeping your anti-virus software up-to-date and by being judicious about what you choose to download to your computer.  You should also familiarize yourself with the interface of your legitimate anti-virus program, so you won’t be fooled if one of these pop-ups appears.

Keep Your Devices Safe

It’s a good idea to protect and maintain the devices you use to do your banking. This can involve upgrading the software and other practices as outlined here.

Protecting Your Computer

Your computer’s operating system needs to be up-to-date in order to defend itself from viruses and malicious software (malware). If one part of your operating system develops a virus, it leaves holes in your computer’s security defenses and compromises the safety of the information contained in your computer.

Keeping your software up-to-date is one of the most important ways of staying safe online because it is much harder for viruses to infect an updated operating system and software. Hackers are targeting operating systems with new viruses all the time and software companies combat these efforts with security patches. You should always download the latest security patch as soon as it becomes available.

Your operating system lets you know when updates are available by notifying you there are new security features to download. You can also upgrade your operating system to the latest version available from the manufacturer; however, you should ensure your computer has sufficient hardware capacity to support an upgrade.

Back Up Your Data

To fully eliminate a virus that has infected your machine, the re-installation of your operating system may be required. Protect yourself against the permanent loss of important data by frequently backing up your files on an external hard drive so you’ll have the data should you ever have a problem with your operating system.

Install Anti-virus Software

Install anti-virus software on your computer to protect your information, money and privacy. Such software detects viruses and cleans your computer so that harmful viruses do not spread. Set up your anti-virus to run frequent scans and update the software as soon as it is required. Ensure you have real-time scanning of every email and every file you download.

Use Firewalls

A firewall protects your computer and home network from harmful websites and hackers. It sits between your computer and the Internet, scanning information that is being transmitted. It allows for safe browsing, while blocking unauthorized intrusions. Even though you may think you have no information of value on your computer, firewalls also stop your computer from being used by hackers to send malicious software to other computers.

Most computers come with a firewall as part of the standard operating system. However, you can get the maximum protection for your computer by installing additional firewalls and ensuring they are kept up to date.

Protecting Your Smartphone

Browsing the web has never been easier – it’s all at your fingertips.  Smartphones let you surf, shop or bank wherever you are. Make sure your information stays secure while you’re on the move by following these smartphone-safe browsing tips:

  1. Activate your phone’s password feature, which locks the screen and prevents anyone but you from accessing your phone.  Set up the password feature on your phone with a code that only you know.
  2. Don’t connect to unknown networks through Wi-Fi hotspots to make financial transactions.
  3. Beware of smishing – that’s phishing on phones through text messages.  Never download media or images, or click on text-message links that come from unrecognizable people or phone numbers. Never provide personal details or any account details using any form of electronic messaging because this is not a secure form of communication. If you are unsure, please contact us.
  4. Download apps exclusively from the official source for your smartphone’s platform, such as the Apple App Store or Google Play Store.
  5. Install anti-virus software for your smartphone when available and update it frequently.
  6. Install location finding applications, which work with your phone’s built-in GPS. These applications allow you to locate and/or remotely erase (or “wipe”) data in your phone if it is lost or stolen.
  7. Update your smartphone’s operating system as soon as newer versions are available.

Direct Alerts

Protect yourself from fraud with Direct Alerts

Sign up for free Direct Alerts to receive email or text message security alerts when activity occurs in your Online Banking. 

You can receive notifications for the following Direct Alerts:

  • Personal Access Code (PAC) changed
  • Interac e-Transfer® recipient added
  • Online Banking account locked out
  • New Online Banking login 
  • New payee added
How to Sign Up for Direct Alerts on your smartphone:
  1. Login to the Lafleche Credit Union Mobile App.
  2. Click the ‘Alerts’ icon (swipe left to second screen to find this icon).
  3. Tap on the ‘Manage’ tab.
  4. Tap on the specific Alert you want to set up.
  5. Choose whether you want to be notified by email or text.
  6. Click ‘Save’.
  7. Click ‘Save’ again to activate the Alert.
  8. Follow these steps to set up all Alerts.
How to Sign Up for Direct Alerts on your computer:
  1. Sign in to Online Banking on your computer. 
  2. Navigate to the ‘Message and Alerts’ tab.
  3. Click on ‘Manage Alerts’.
  4. Click on the Alert you want to acitvate.
  5. Click ‘Add’.
  6. Choose whether you want to be notified by email or text.
  7. Click ‘Save’.
  8. Click ‘Save’ again to activate the Alert.
  9. Follow these steps to set up all Alerts.

Inquire by phone, email or in branch for more info.
Contact Us
Inquire by phone, email or in branch for more info.
Contact Us