What is phishing on a mobile phone?
If your mobile phone is able to receive email, you should be aware of this type of fraud. 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.
Phishers circulate emails with legitimate-looking logos and design styles and may link to websites that also look legitimate. For example, a phisher 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 those emails offering money for work-at-home jobs, or asking for help with frozen bank accounts, or offering discounted pharmaceuticals, trips, etc.
How do I know if an email is really from Bell?
Bell communicates with customers through email regularly, and we have rules about requesting personal information as well as what we include in attachments. However, our emails 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).
Additionally, our emails will never include:
- Direct links to virus removal tools. Instead, we will direct you to support.bell.ca/Internet for detailed instructions on how to remove a virus.
- Executable (.exe) file attachments (programs).
- Files you need to click to open, such as Microsoft Word documents or compressed (.zip) files (unless we are responding to an initial telephone inquiry from you).
Genuine emails from the Bell companies may include:
- Links to pages related to Bell services
- Notification of changes to your service, and virus or security alerts. Remember, we'll always refer you to pages on bell.ca for more information.
- Marketing and promotional offers, including contests
- A customer survey or a link to a customer survey site
- A request for permission to send you information on Bell products and services and those of its third party business partners
Think before you click.
- 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
What is malware?
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 Identity Theft Support Center or call them at 1 866 436-5461