Reporting Security Scams
Reporting a security scam to the appropriate authorities is encouraged to protect our customers. The following tips will help you avoid becoming a victim of a fraud or targeted scam activity.
Protect Yourself from Scams
Protect yourself from criminal activity. Here are tips to help you recognize, report, and avoid falling victim to scams.
As society evolves and invents new ways to communicate and conduct business, consumers are targeted by scammers through a variety of channels. Perpetrators are getting more creative and sometimes use the name of large, reputable companies to make their scams credible.
Consumers are randomly targeted by scammers, who use our company names to take advantage of their victims. We are concerned about all scamming activity, and when possible, provide the appropriate information about these actions to the authorities for their investigation.
Things to Know
- We do not participate in lotteries, sweepstakes, or any mail offering for monetary prizes.
- A company representative will not contact a customer by phone to demand an emergency payment of a premium for a policy that is about to lapse.
- Customers may occasionally receive a courtesy call from their State Farm™ agent's office reminding them of an overdue payment. Make sure it is your personal agent's office. If you are suspicious, hang up and call the agent's office back.
- We use regular billing periods and regularly scheduled premium notices to notify our customers of any amounts outstanding or overdue.
- We may send additional notices by mail if a premium amount is outstanding or overdue.
- Do not provide personal or private information — including information about your insurance policies, financial accounts, or credit cards — to any person unknown to you or with unverifiable credentials or connection to you.
- Do not try to cash any unknown or unauthenticated cheques, or otherwise accept any offer of money.
- If the Desjardins, Certas Home and Auto Insurance Company or State Farm name or logo is used in a communication and you are suspicious, call a local State Farm agent who will help determine whether what you received is authentic or not.
- If you receive any communication that looks different from what you normally receive from your agent or us, do not hesitate to call your agent or an authorized company representative to report the suspicious activity.
- If you are contacted by phone or in person, be wary of anyone who gives you only vague information about themselves or the entity they claim to represent. Ask questions. Try to get as much information as possible. If the caller gets nervous, gives sketchy or little information, or refuses to provide information, it is likely a scam. In that case, hang up and call the agent or company directly.
Scams take various forms. The most common we hear about are letters, emails, or phone calls. Take the following, for example:
Scam example: You are notified you have won a lottery or other monetary prize.
A bogus cheque for a smaller amount is often included to cover "administrative costs," taxes, or fees. The cheque may:
- Feature a corporate logo.
- Appear to be signed by a company representative.
- You may be given a claim number and asked to contact an "agent" or prize administrator to claim the rest of your "prize."
In the case of a letter or email, scammers may use a Desjardins, Certas Home and Auto Insurance Company, State Farm or another well-known logo, or try to make it appear that a "contest" is sponsored by the organization. It may appear as though a company executive has signed the letter or cheque, even copying or forging his or her signature.
Contact the financial institution or organization directly and have them confirm the validity of the documents you've received. Use the contact information provided on their official documents (other than the one you've received), such as the company's official website.
Scam example: You are told that your insurance policy is about to lapse or be cancelled due to unpaid premium.
- The scammer asks for your credit card information to pay the necessary amount due to avoid cancellation or lapse in coverage.
If you get a call reminding you of an overdue payment, make sure it is your personal State Farm agent's office calling. If you have any doubt, hang up and call your agent's office at a phone number you know to be correct. Your State Farm agent's first concern is that you and your personal information remain safe, so the agent's office will be glad to receive a call back.
Scam example: You get an authentic-looking bill indicating you are in "Past Due" status; but you don't remember the purchase or the transaction for such a bill.
If you do not recognize the company name or remember buying the item listed on the bill, call the billing company to confirm your purchase.
"Unclaimed property assistance" may or may not be a scam.
You may get an offer to assist with retrieving unclaimed property for a nominal fee. This is often thought to be a scam but may be a legitimate service, in some instances.
To be safe, do your research. It is wise to go to the appropriate provincial ministry involved and claim your property directly from the agency. You can usually learn more about this by performing an Internet search using terms like "[your province] unclaimed property."