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How to protect yourself from “phishing” and email scams

You may have experienced or read about recent incidents of unsolicited email messages, masquerading as legitimate companies, that trick recipients into divulging personal and financial information.

These “phishing” (also called "brand spoofing") emails send you to web sites pretending to be legitimate companies that ask for your personal and financial information.

At no time do members of BMO Financial Group request personal or financial information by sending out unsolicited emails. You should never send personal identification numbers or confidential information by email, as it is not a secure method of contact.

How the scams work

A common email scam uses unsolicited email to deceive consumers into disclosing confidential personal information. The deceptive email suggests clicking on a link or attachment for any one of the following reasons:

•  Change / update to personal information
•  Contests
•  Possible suspension of client cards or accounts
•  Application for products

After clicking on an attachment or link from the unsolicited email, the user is taken to a bogus web site that requests confidential personal information, which could include:

•  Bank Card Numbers/User ID's
•  Account Numbers
•  Personal Identification Numbers (PINs)
•  Credit Card Numbers
•  Social Insurance Numbers / Social Security Numbers
•  Other personal or private Information
•  Passwords

How to identify the scam

There are some commonalities that can help you identify the scams:

•  They are designed to mimic the look and feel of a genuine site
•  They are most commonly sent out through unsolicited emails, containing links or attachments
•  The Web address will often have the @ symbol or a numeric address (eg.123.456.1.2). The address may also include the word, phrase or text 'bmo' to make it appear authentic.

How to help protect yourself

It is important to understand that there are ways in which you can help protect yourself from email fraud and web sites that request your personal or banking information:

•  If you receive an email pretending to be from a member of BMO Financial Group that asks for personal or financial information, do not reply or click on the link in the email. To ensure that the email is legitimate, contact us immediately. Do not email personal or confidential information using the email addresses below.

General Inquiries:
Online Fraud Reporting:
Chief Privacy Officer:
  • Always enter your BMO Financial Group web site using your bookmarks or any of our published URLs.
  • Review your financial statements regularly for unauthorized or suspicious transactions.
  • Never send personal and/or financial information via unsecured email.
  • Do not trust email headers. They can be easily forged.

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