Albertans Should Be Wary of Phishing Scams

May 12, 2005

The Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner (OIPC) of Alberta is warning Albertans about the latest scam called “phishing.”

Arriving in the form of an email, this official looking notice tells a recipient that because of technical problems or to update an account, personal information such as a social insurance number, credit card number, PIN, or bank account number must be resubmitted.

The recipient is directed to a web page which resembles that of a familiar financial institution or business where they are tricked into submitting their personal information. The fake web pages are created using legitimate information and images taken from well-known web sites.

“No legitimate financial institution will use an email to solicit this kind of information from their customers”, said Information and Privacy Commissioner Frank Work.

The OIPC is urging Albertans to be suspicious of emails asking for personal information, particularly financial information.

If there is any doubt to the validity of the email message, the OIPC encourages recipients to contact the financial institution or business in person or over the phone.

May 8 to May 15 is Alberta Crime Prevention Week.