Staying safe online

Staying safe online

Internet scams are rising, particularly in the financial sector. They come in all shapes and sizes and keep changing to try and trick you.

Watch out for unsolicited calls, emails, letters and websites offering too-good-to-be-true investment opportunities. Fraudsters may be using this time of economic uncertainty to launch new investment scams. Be vigilant about the personal information you provide.

Below we share some ways to help protect you and your family by recognising a scam email or text message, providing information on what to do if you are contacted by someone claiming to act on behalf of BMO.

How to spot a suspicious email/text/website

  • It looks strange, with a messy layout and spelling mistakes
  • It contains an offer or promotion that sounds too good to be true. The chances are, it probably is
  • It contains threats of account suspension or immediate risk of fraud
  • It asks you for personal information
  • It claims that there is something wrong with your account, that your details need to be updated by clicking on a link or presents a unique investment opportunity 

Do you know who really sent the email/text?

Fraudsters pretend to be companies who you may have relationships with such as BMO: be wary even if you think you recognise the sender.

Fraudsters use a scam called phishing for email, and smishing for texts. They copy the format of emails and texts from real companies and then alter them to try to steal your data or send your computer or phone a virus.

Don’t click on a link or copy and paste from the email/text itself. Visit a company’s website by typing their web address directly into the address bar rather than clicking on a link in the email.

Only call companies on a phone number you know you can trust. You can check the contact details of a firm authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) by looking on the FCA register (https://register.fca.org.uk/). If you already have a relationship with the company, you can find their contact details on letters you’ve had from them in the past.

Communications from BMO

  • We never ask you to confirm personal or financial information in an email/text
  • Our email addresses always end with bmogam.com
  • We will never ask you to carry out a test payment online or transfer money

If you’re not sure about an email or text you have received purporting to be from BMO, you can always contact us directly to check – you can call our main switchboard on the number shown on our FCA register page. If you already have investments with us, you can find the number for your Customer Services team on the Contact Us page on this website or on previous correspondence that you have from us.

What to do if you think you have received a fraudulent email?

Don’t reply, and don’t open any attachments or click on any links embedded in unsolicited emails or communications.

If you have been scammed or contacted by an unauthorised firm – or a firm you suspect is not legitimate – you can report this to the FCA by contacting their Consumer Helpline on 0800 111 6768.

Further useful information about how to protect yourself from financial scams is available on the FCA’s website.

The FCA also provide more information about avoiding scams linked to Covid-19.