4 Be Aware of What to Look Out For (Fraud and Scam Prevention)

There are many types of fraud and scams that you will come across in your life. As a student, you may be more exposed to certain tactics, especially when setting up your SIN number, getting a bank account, and looking for housing. The best defense against fraud is to be knowledgeable and aware of these situations.

Here are some general tips:

  • Share your personal information only with companies you know and trust
  • Do not provide personal information to solicitors who made the initial contact
  • Old statements, bills and credit/debit cards should be shredded before you dispose of them

Email Phishing Scams

“Phishing” scammers will often pose as a financial institution and ask you to disclose personal or financial information over email. The email may appear legitimate and mention that there’s been a security breach. These emails will include links to provide your information. Do not click on these links.

Here are some tips for identifying email phishing scams:

  • Banks and governments will never ask for your personal information through email
  • If you are unsure of the legitimacy, search the message for bizarre links or email addresses
  • Do not reply to or open links from a suspected scammer

Learn about how to identify and handle more types of scams at the McMaster Student Success Centre’s Fraud Prevention website.

Providing students with the tools they need to protect themselves is a priority for Mac’s Money Centre. They can be reached at money@mcmaster.ca.

Housing/Accommodation Scams

It is important to be aware of fake advertisements for housing or temporary accommodations, especially if you are looking to secure your housing before arriving in Canada.

Here are some warning signs to look out for when looking for housing/temporary accommodations/rentals, compiled by the Competition Bureau Canada:

  • the monthly rent is lower than other similar places
  • you are asked to leave a deposit without any formal rental agreement or lease in place
  • you are asked to send money to someone outside of Canada
  • when you ask about the rental, you get an email that sends you to a website asking for personal or financial information
  • the ads show pictures of the outside of the property only, or pictures that don’t match the actual property or address

Here are some things you can do to avoid being scammed when looking for housing/temporary accommodations/rentals:

  • go to the address to make sure the listing is truthful or accurate: go in person, or use the Internet to see actual pictures of the house
  • research the address to ensure it is not a duplicate post: you may even conduct a reverse image search to see if the photos were used elsewhere
  • schedule a showing and confirm that the landlord will be present
  • if you plan on renting a new development, contact the builder to confirm ownership
  • request a lease or contract and review it thoroughly
  • know your rights as a tenant – consult the Ontario Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing

If you have been a victim of fraud

If you’ve been the victim of a rental scam or another type of fraud, or if you have information about this type of scam, report it to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre (1-888-495-8501), and/or your local police.


MBA International Student Handbook 2024 Copyright © by Mahak Arya. All Rights Reserved.

Share This Book