Interac translations: practical, but not without risks

What to do when you receive an email for Interac translation: click on the link or not? In any case, double-check who pays whom, because – do you know? – we can also charge you money through Interac!

Interac transfers have become part of our payment habits. They allow you to pay for a profitable deal unearthed on Kijiji in a few clicks or to receive the money expected from a friend. However, this payment method is not without risks. And, above all, it forces us to engage in uncomfortable mental gymnastics: should I follow a link in an email when all the security experts recommend extreme caution?

Sylvie was glad that she sold her old sofa to Paul, a buyer she met on an online used goods platform. So she hurried to accept Paul’s payment sent by email. He was very surprised to find that instead of depositing the amount, it was … debited from his account to the account of his correspondent.

Sylvia is one of the victims of an unknown but increasingly frequent scam. She received a request for funds through Interac, not a transfer of funds. The Interac notifications corresponding to the two types of transactions were very similar, and she saw nothing but fire.

Little known feature

The feature that allows you to receive funds with Interac e-Transfer has been around for over five years, but not much is known about it. Knowing that you may receive a request for funds rather than a money transfer, you should read the notification emails very carefully before clicking “Accept,” notes Emeline Manson, Fraud Prevention and Cybersecurity Trainer.


Because the two emails are nearly identical, it’s easy to agree to a request for funds without realizing it (right image). In this case, it is difficult to return the lost money. Financial institutions typically pass the responsibility on to Interac, which cites its policy that a request for funds can only be canceled if the transaction is pending.

If the scammer has enabled the auto deposit option in their account, the money will be deposited directly and cannot be returned. This is what Paul did, which was probably not his first scam.

Tip to protect yourself: If you don’t want to receive fund requests from Interac, you can click on the link in the fine print at the bottom of the notification email, which will allow you to stop receiving them and block people as a precaution. this can save you a lot of headaches (see the text circled at the bottom right of the image). But for this, you must have already received the first request for funds, because the link is not in the money transfer letters.

Read also: Internet Fraud: Vigilance Needed!

Open your eyes and well

Before accepting an Interac translation, you must keep your eyes open and correct. “It’s nice to get money instantly, but let’s make sure it belongs to us. If you are not expecting money, you should not accept it, ”says Emeline Manson.

Did you receive an email transfer that you didn’t expect? Contact the person you do business with via another means of communication (say a text message or call) to verify that they just sent you the transfer.

You should also have a choice of how to send money, text, or email. If the sender insists on sending an email rather than a text message (or vice versa), ask yourself questions.

The safest way would be to receive the money directly in the secure client area of ​​our financial institution, without clicking on the link in the email. “But for this,” says Jean-Benoît Turcotti, a spokesman for Desjardins, “the sender must be able to send the transfer to a secure location in the institution where the recipient’s account is located. However, the latter probably has multiple bank accounts. In that case, how do you know where to securely send money to him? He recalls that Interac is a system of transfers between people and between financial institutions, the strength of which lies in its ease of use.

Click on the link

You must definitely click the link to get the Interac translation. There is no other way to do this.

If you received money via email and are in doubt, compare it to a legitimate email you received earlier. But most importantly, when you click on your financial institution’s logo from an email, the address that appears for a few seconds in the URL bar must begin with https://[email protected], then go to the address of your financial institution (for example, in Desjardins). If instead you receive money as a text message, the address provided in the text message must begin with

In order to secure the transaction and make it harder for fraudsters, the National Bank suggests avoiding questions that can be answered with “yes” or “no” or are easy to find, such as the name of the recipient. The best option is to choose a question about a fact that only you and the recipient know.

“If you receive a notification that makes you think it was sent by a scammer trying to impersonate the Interac wire transfer service, your first impulse might be to delete the message, but we’d rather you not delete it!” Interac says. on your website. Instead, send it to [email protected] so that their fraud team can investigate.

Read also: Fraud does not spare teenagers: how to protect them

One billion transfers in one year

The Canadian Fraud Center advises Canadians to exercise caution when buying or selling items online. In 2021, fraud related to the online purchase and sale of services and goods resulted in a total loss of more than $21.1 million.

Fraud with requests for funds by Interac has not been recorded. However, Interac said that between April 2021 and April 2022, one billion transfers were made in Canada, totaling $338 billion. Requests for funds increased by 126% during this period, according to an Interac survey of 1,500 Canadians.

See also: Privacy and digital life

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