At The Great-West Life Assurance Company (Great-West Life), we recognize and respect the importance of security. This internet security statement covers the measures that Great-West Life takes to help secure your personal information. This internet security statement is subject to change without notice to you, so we recommend that you review it regularly. By using this site you acknowledge that you have read and understand this internet security statement as amended from time to time.
Encryption technology is designed to secure personal and confidential communications between your computer and Great-West Life servers, such that they are protected from being read by any third parties. This is achieved by “scrambling” communications so that they are unreadable by anyone other than Great-West Life or yourself. Great-West Life web applications require 128-bit SSL encryption — the standard for encrypting and safeguarding websites. You can verify that a Great-West Life website is encrypted by looking for the golden lock or key icon along the bottom of your browser window, which is used by most browsers to indicate a secure connection.
Time-outs and automatic log ons
Some Great-West Life websites may require you to log in using a user name and password. While you are logged in, if you leave your browser window open, Great-West Life applications will automatically log you out after 25 minutes of inactivity. Similarly, if you close your browser window without logging out, you will be automatically logged out. Both of these measures are designed to protect your information from unintended access by a passerby or different user of your computer.
Be cautious of emails, websites and other forms of communications purporting to represent a legitimate company or person and that ask you to provide confidential or financial information. This is called phishing. The content of a phishing email or text message is intended to trigger a quick reaction from you. It can use upsetting or exciting information, demand an urgent response or employ a false pretense or statement. Phishing messages are normally not personalized.
It is not Great-West Life’s practice to email you or ask you to provide or confirm your PIN, password or other confidential or financial information, other than as may occur in response to an inquiry from you. If you receive such a request, or if you have any concern as to the validity of an email from Great-West Life, a website claiming to be a Great-West Life website, a digital communication claiming to be from Great-West Life and its employees or our online security, please contact our Special Investigations Unit toll free at 1-877-751-4317 or email us.
Please attach any suspicious email in its original form, screenshots in the case of instant messages from other communication platforms, or in the case of a website please include the URL in your notification.
What to watch out for -- 4 types of common fraud scams:
1. Lotto sweepstakes scam
The fraudsters mail out letters advising that you have won a large sum of money from a lottery. The letter also includes a realistic-looking Great-West Life cheque, which is payable to you.
If you contact the “Claim Agent,” the fraudster instructs you to deposit the cheque, withdraw a portion of that money in cash and then to send it to a specific recipient. The original cheque will eventually be returned as a fake and you are out of money from your bank account.
2. Mystery Shopper Scam
The fraudsters mail out letters indicating they are a customer survey company that is a division of London Life, Great-West Life or Canada Life, and are offering you a job as a mystery shopper. The letter also includes a realistic looking London Life, Great-West Life or Canada Life cheque, which is payable to you.
If you contact the fraudster, you are given instructions to deposit the cheque and withdraw a portion of that money in cash. Your mystery shopper job is to test the customer service of a money transfer company, and you are also instructed to send a money transfer to a specific person, usually in another country. The original cheque will eventually be returned as a fake and you are out of money from your bank account.
3. Inheritance Scam
The fraudsters mail out letters using letter head that indicates it’s from an investment company that is a division of London Life, and includes the proper London Life address and phone number. Fraudsters follow up with victims by phone, indicating you are entitled to an inheritance from a deceased person who has the same last name. Usually, the fraudsters also include in their mail outs a realistic looking London Life cheque payable to you.
The fraudster advises you this is an advance on the inheritance to pay for the fees to transfer the bank account into your name. You are then instructed to deposit the cheque at your bank and then withdraw cash and send a money transfer to a specific person to cover the fees.
4. Purchase Order Email Frauds
The fraudsters (posing as a manager at Canada Life) send out emails to legitimate companies. The email requests a price quote and refers to an attachment. Attached is a file marked “purchase orders."
The attachment is either an attempt to defraud that company of product or the file contains a virus to infect that company’s computer. The email address that it was sent from is a generic email, but the information regarding a phone number and address may be correct.
For information on various types of email fraud, please visit the E-mail Fraud / Phishing page on the RCMP website Opens a new website in a new window.
The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre has published some tips on how to protect yourself:
- Be mindful where you post your resume; scammers use legitimate websites to seek out victims.
- A legitimate employer will never send funds and request a portion of it back.
- Do your research. A simple search on the Internet can save you thousands of dollars.
- If it sounds to good to be true, it is.
For more information, visit the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre Opens a new website in a new window.
If you have lost money because of a fraud, contact your local police.
You may also contact our Special Investigations Unit toll-free at 1-877-751-4317 or email us Opens in a new window.
Other security measures
Great-West Life engages in a number of other security activities to help ensure the safety and privacy of your personal information. This includes adopting measures to help secure our computers against hacker attacks and virus activities by a number of different means. We monitor our website, servers, email, and data 24 hours a day to help us immediately identify and rectify any problems. Note that all emails and attachments sent to the organization may be scanned for viruses by a third party service provider. Scanning may take place outside of Canada.
Security tips you can use
You can also contribute to the security of your information by following a few straightforward principles:
For Great-West websites requiring a password
- Pick a password that is unique and hard for others to guess. A strong password includes a combination of upper- and lower-case letters and numbers. Avoid passwords such as family or pet names, birthdays, or words found in dictionaries.
- Memorize your password, and don’t tell it to anyone. Remember no one from Great-West Life will ever call or email asking for your password.
- If you think anyone has had access to your password, change it immediately by logging in and clicking the Your Profile tab. From the Your Profile section, follow the simple instructions to change your password.
- If you are using a computer in a public place (such as an Internet café, or an open desk at work), ensure that no one can see you type in your password, log off when you are finished using the site and clear the browser’s cache.
- Run current anti-virus software and anti-spyware software on your computer. This helps ensure your computer is free of malicious programs such as viruses, worms and spyware (snooping software that collects and shares confidential information on your computer with a third party without your consent).
- After using a Great-West Life application, clear your browser’s cache and then close it. The cache is where a browser keeps copies of the web pages you have recently visited. By clearing it, you help ensure no one else can view these pages, including the next website you visit.