How to protect yourself from phishing


Due to COVID-19, many of us are feeling worried or anxious, and that’s normal. However, we still have to watch out for cybercriminals who take advantage of the situation and play off people’s fears by making phone calls or by sending fraudulent emails and text messages.

At Desjardins, we’re doing everything we can to protect you from phishing scams, and we’ve compiled a list of tips from our fraud prevention service.

Learn more about our fraud prevention service - External link. This link will open in a new window..

Communicating by email or text

Be careful! 84% of Canadians have received phishing emails, and nearly 10% have fallen for a scam.1 These messages are designed to fool you—71% of the time,2 they use the name, logo and colours of a financial institution. Their goal is to get you to share your personal information or click a link or attachment that will install malware onto your computer or mobile device. Don’t take the bait! Instead, pay close attention to the messages you receive. If you see one of these warning signs, it might be a scam: the message is urgent, it promises financial gain or it tells you there is a problem.

Spotting a scam:

  • Urgency

    Scam artists give their messages a sense of urgency by emphasizing the consequences if you don’t act quickly. Their goal is to get you to act fast, without thinking.

    You’re asked to update your personal information right away. If you don’t, your account will be closed or frozen.

  • Gain

    The scam artist gets you to share your personal information by making you believe that you’ve won something or will get a perk.

    You receive an email with a link to claim a prize or windfall from someone you don’t know.

  • Problem

    The scam artist makes you think there’s a problem, and the only way to solve it is to share your personal information.

    An accounting error was made on your account and was then corrected. The email includes a link connecting you to your online banking site.

More ways to spot fraudulent emails and text messages

  • Check if the sender’s email address seems legitimate, especially the part after the @ symbol. Is it a business address or a personal address?
  • Move your cursor over the link (but don't click) to check that the address is legitimate and belongs to the company that sent it. The address should be similar to the one they used to send the message.
  • Decide if the email or text message is plausible and relevant to you. Did you really enter that contest? Are you expecting a package? Does this procedure seem normal? Is it too good to be true?
  • Never provide confidential information that can be used to authenticate your identity by email or text message, such as your social insurance number, credit card number, birthdate or password.

Phone calls

Scam artists have been known to pose as financial advisors, government officials, police officers, charity workers, and even family members. Their goal is to get you to give up confidential information or transfer money. Here are some tips for telling the difference between a legitimate call and a scam.

How to tell if the call is coming from a real Desjardins advisor

  • We will never ask you to share personal information with us, like your social insurance number.
  • We will never ask you to confirm your identity by giving us your codes, information or passwords.
  • To confirm your identity, we’ll ask you to answer your security questions or send you a single-use security codeby push notification or text message.

Learn more about how to improve the security of your account with a code - External link. This link will open in a new window..

Spotting fraudulent calls

  • Ask a few personal questions to the person on the other end of the line that only your real grandchildren or loved ones can answer: a relative’s name, where they were born, a family memory, etc.
  • If the person tells you they work for a financial institution or company, take down their name and call them back using the company’s official phone number (not the number that they give you).
  • Never share confidential information with someone who called you./li>
  • Follow up on information from your call, even if the other person asks you to keep your conversation a secret.
  • Never transfer money immediately after getting a request to do so by phone.
  • You can’t always trust the caller ID. Scam artists can make their numbers appear legitimate.
  • Hang up right away if you have doubts about a call.

Learn more about how to keep yourself safe - External link. This link will open in a new window..

What to do if you receive a fraudulent email or text message

  • If you receive a fraudulent email that claims to be from Desjardins:

    Forward it to You’ll receive an automated reply. Delete the fraudulent email afterwards.

  • If you receive a fraudulent text message that claims to be from Desjardins:

    Forward it to protection@desjardins.comor 7726. You’ll receive an automated reply. Delete the text message afterwards.


The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre has come up with a list of reported scams associated with COVID-19 - External link. This link will open in a new window..

See a list of scams on the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre site - External link. This link will open in a new window..