Picture this: You’ve just moved into a new place and, to make life easier, you used Interac® e-Transfer to pay your rent. Great idea! But instead of going to your landlord, the funds end up being deposited into someone else’s account. How could that happen? A scam artist easily found the answer to your security question after successfully intercepting the email you sent your landlord to let them know about the transfer. And there’s nothing you can do! The Interac® e-Transfer can’t be cancelled once the funds have been deposited into the recipient’s account.
You can prevent this kind of scenario by taking a few precautions. Be creative in choosing your security question. Don’t pick something easy like “Colour of the sky?” (everyone know the answer is “blue”—even on a rainy day!) And never include your answer in the email you send the recipient.
5 tips to send money safely using Interac e-Transfer
- Before setting up the transfer, always check with the recipient to find out if they prefer text or email delivery. Alternate between the two; for example, if you’re emailing the transfer, confirm the address by text or over the phone.
- The first rule also applies to the answer to the security question.
- Like the security question, the answer should be hard for someone who doesn’t know you to guess.
- If you receive a notification about a transfer, make sure to deposit the funds right away, so a scam artist doesn’t intercept it.
- It’s best to send money using Interac® e-Transfer only to people you trust.
A few traps to avoid
You should always be extra careful with financial transactions, because scam artists are never short on inspiration. Here are some examples.
- Did you get an email notification about an Interac® e-Transfer you weren’t expecting? That’s a red flag. Check with the person or organization the transfer is supposedly from before depositing the money into your account.
- Did you get a text or email from Interac that included a link asking you to confirm your banking information? Careful, this message is probably fake. Don’t hesitate to contact your financial institution to find out if the message is legitimate. You can often tell from the email address alone whether or not it’s fake. The message may look legitimate, but use a strange email address.
- Did you process multiple transfers for the same recipient? Be aware that by default, the question and security answer are applicable to all transfers processed for that same recipient. Remain vigilant, with this information, a malicious person could collect all subsequent transfers.
- Be careful on sites like Kijiji, too. Never send an Interac® e-transfer to a seller before you have the item in hand.
And there you have it—everything you need to know to send money worry-free.
® Interac e-Transfer is a registered Trade-mark of Interac Corp. Used under licence.
1. Transaction fees apply if you exceed the number of transactions included in your monthly plan or if you don’t have a plan.