Tax season is already ‘fun’ enough, but did you know it’s also among the riskiest times of year for getting scammed? 

We know. It’s like there’s no justice in the world.

Just last year, Canadians reported a cringe-inducing $554 million losses to cyber fraud. Big yikes. 

TELUS Online Security
Photo via TELUS

Risk increases during periods like tax season as scammers ramp up efforts to cheat people out of their personal information, often impersonating banks or the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).

So how can you better protect yourself?

The craziest thing is, even the tech-savviest of Canadians aren’t immune. 

Take it from tech expert and TELUS Online Security partner, Matthew Moniz, who’s fallen victim to scams a couple of times. 

First, a fraudster used his driver’s license to register a credit card, resulting in a year-long hassle with debt collectors. More recently, he narrowly escaped a $3,700 loss when his details were used to buy two smartphones. That’s why it’s so important to stay vigilant and take your digital security seriously.

Ready to rally the troops and dig that moat? Metaphorically speaking, of course. 

Here are Matthew Moniz’s top tips on protecting yourself online:

Tip 1: Don’t Take The ‘Phishing’ Bait 

Have you ever gotten an email, text, or phone call that just didn’t sit right? Maybe it was for a package that was held up at customs… except you never ordered anything. Or a bank notification from an institution you don’t even bank with.

These digital traps are called phishing scams. They’re designed to steal your personal information or trick you into making payments for fake services. 

Around tax season, these phishing scams start impersonating legitimate entities like the CRA. They can be sneaky, but they usually have a tell. 

Matthew Moniz recommends paying attention to sender domains and watching out for red flags like forced urgency, threats, and demands such as requesting payment through Interac e-transfer, bitcoin, prepaid credit card or gift cards. When in doubt, verify requests directly with the organization using official contact details. 

Tip 2: Home Is Where the Security Is 

Your home is your fortress – and so is your home internet. Keep to your private home network when you’re handling sensitive information, like filing your taxes or paying bills.  

If you’re ever forced to use public WiFi, Moniz recommends using a Virtual Private Network (VPN) to keep yourself safe. TELUS Online Security includes the fastest and most reliable VPN in Canada, so you can shop online for shoes at your favourite cafe while messaging your bestie – confident that your data is secured with bank-grade encryption.

**Based on a test of eight other leading VPN products in the VPN Products Performance Benchmarks report conducted by PassMark Software commissioned by Gen, November 2023. Competitor list and performance metrics were selected by Gen. 

Tip 3: Lock It Down

Your digital lock and key is none other than the thing we probably take most for granted: passwords. Yes, it should be more difficult to guess than the word ‘password’ or your pet’s name plus your birth year. Feeling called out yet?

According to Moniz, the easiest way to keep your passwords secure is to have different ones for each account, make them complex, and enable Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) whenever possible. It can be a lot to keep track of, so consider using a password manager. A secure password manager will create and store your passwords in an encrypted vault that only you can access.

Tip 4: Get A (Digital) Bodyguard

It goes without saying that you should have a rock-solid cyber security system on your devices – but we’re going to say it anyway!

TELUS Online Security acts like a digital bodyguard to keep you safer from cybercriminals. Powered by Norton and available to all Canadians, this comprehensive service offers a password manager and around-the-clock monitoring for threats to your identity and devices, including viruses and malicious websites. 

TELUS Online Security also keeps you informed with alerts†  for suspicious activity on your financial accounts and credit file – so you can act quickly if something doesn’t look right. 

If the worst happens, and your identity is stolen, they also have experts on hand to guide you through the recovery process and help ease some of the stress. 

Learn more about TELUS Online Security and available plans online.


TELUS does not monitor all transactions at all businesses.
No one can prevent all cybercrime or identity theft. Activation through Norton is required.