In the Know: Safety and Fraud Prevention

UVic Global Community Newsletter: October 21, 2019

In the Know: Advice for International Students is a section of the UVic Global Community Newsletter that includes valuable information and important dates for undergraduate and graduate international students in the following categories: degree-seeking, incoming exchange, and incoming study abroad/visiting.

Victoria and the UVic campus are generally very safe, but it is important to be aware of available resources and the actions you can take to stay safe and avoid frauds.

Emergency Planning

Do you know what to do before, during, and after an emergency? Planning ahead will help you better respond to emergency situations. Visit UVic’s website to learn about possible hazards and get prepared.

Make sure you register for UVic Emergency Alerts and keep your contact information on UVic My Page up-to-date. The UVic SafetyApp is a new way to receive emergency notifications important safety information, contacts, maps, and procedures from the university. You can download the free app at an app store.

You can also visit the Government of British Columbia’s website to learn more about emergency preparedness, responses and recovery.

Resources

Emergency Assistance

In Canada, you can report an emergency anytime and anywhere by phoning 9-1-1.

An operator will ask you to choose police, fire, or ambulance and will ask what city you are in. Interpreting services are available on request. The operator will transfer you. Do not hang up!

More information about emergency assistance is available on the UVic website.

Non-Emergency Assistance

HealthLink BC provides non-emergency health information and advice. Access this service anytime by phoning 8-1-1 or by visiting the HealthLink BC website. Interpreting services are available on request.

The following on-campus units provide resources to support your health and safety:

Fraud Prevention

What is fraud?

Fraud is defined as wrongful or criminal deception intended to result in financial or personal gain.

Attempted fraud is often referred to as a scam. There are many types of scams. They can happen over the telephone, through the mail, by text, by email, online, or in person.

Fraud is a serious problem, in Canada and around the world, but you can take the following actions to protect yourself: Recognize it. Report it. Reject it.

Recognize it.

Most scams ask you for money or sensitive personal information.

Sensitive personal information can be used to steal your identity. Once someone has stolen your identity, they can access your accounts and take your money.

Sensitive personal information includes your date of birth, Social Insurance Number (SIN), mailing address, financial account numbers, credit card information, usernames and passwords, driver’s license number, and passport number.

Scams can be very convincing. They often appear to come from well-known and trusted businesses, financial institutions, or government agencies. Sometimes they even appear to come from UVic!

The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre (CAFC) website provides helpful information for recognizing scams.

Report it.

When you recognize a scam, report it to the CAFC by phone at 1-888-495-8501 or online.

If you feel you have been the victim of fraud, report it to the CAFC and to your local police.

Reject it.

Here are some more tips to avoid becoming a victim of fraud.

For email and online scams:

  • Be suspicious about emails that are not personalized.
  • Be cautious when opening email attachments and clicking on links in the content, regardless of who the email appears to be from.
  • Email scams are often called phishing. Learn how to spot a phish.
  • Take steps to protect your online information. Visit the UVic website to learn more about cybersecurity and enter a contest to win a prize.

For telephone scams:

  • If the caller is selling a product or service that sounds interesting, request information so you can verify the validity of the company or organization before making a purchase or payment.
  • Be suspicious about the promise of a valuable prize in return for a low cost purchase or payment in advance for shipping, taxes, etc.
  • Be suspicious about tight timelines for making a purchase or payment.
  • If you are suspicious, hang up and contact the original source for information.

In general:

  • Be suspicious of miracle cures and situations that sound too good to be true.
  • Be suspicious of situations where you must take action quickly or else face serious consequences.
  • Do not give your usernames and passwords (such as your UVic NetLink ID or your GCKey) to anyone, for any reason.
  • Keep your identity documents in a secure place, and do not carry them with you unless you need them.
  • Regularly review your financial accounts, and contact your financial institution immediately if you notice any incorrect transactions.
  • Immediately report any lost or stolen identity documents, credit cards, debit cards, or passports.
  • Shred personal and financial documents before throwing them away.

If you think something might be a scam, visit or contact International Student Services. We can help you recognize, report, and reject fraud.

More International Student Advising information is available on our website. If you can't find the answers you are looking for, or if you require more information, visit or contact International Student Services.

Upcoming International Student Advising Events:

October 30: US Visa Information Webinar