Identity Theft – Keep Your Private Information Private! (series- Fraud Prevention Month)

Series: March is National Fraud Prevention Month

IDENTITY THEFT:  Keep your private information private! ID Theft Criminal

Identity Theft is a crime when your personal information is stolen/hijacked without your knowing. Your identity is used by someone else claiming to be you.

Your personal information includes your name, date of birth, Social Insurance Number, Bank Account information, credit card information, etc..

Prevention:

You do not have to be paranoid, but need to be aware that there are reasons to be careful. You need to minimize the criminal’s opportunities to get your personal information. The best prevention and precaution include that you make yourself a harder target. Be very careful about disclosing your personal information.

Here are just a few tips for prevention. Do visit the link below for more information

  • Ensure all personal documents, statements and invoices are store away safely or shredded for disposal.
  • Leave your SIN card in a safe place.
  • If you receive phone calls, emails or text messages claiming to be your bank (government, etc.) requesting information, please DO NOT give the information. Contact the bank by phone or go there in person to verify the contacts and information.

If Victimized:

If you suspect you are victimized, TAKE ACTION IMMEDIATELY.

Consider these tips by Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre:

  • Start a log of dates, person(s) that you spoke with and exactly what they said.
  • Contact the fraud departments of each of the two major credit bureaus. Equifax: (866) 828-5961 (www.equifax.ca) and Trans Union: (800) 663-9980 (www.transunion.ca) and request that a “Fraud Alert” be placed in your files. At the same time order copies of your credit reports.
  • Contact the fraud department of creditors for any accounts that have been opened or tampered with fraudulently. This may include credit card companies, phone companies, banks and other lenders.
  • File a report with your local Police or the Police in the community where the identity theft took place.
  • Contact the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre (CAFC). (www.antifraudcentre.ca) CAFC is currently central sourcing all pertinent information on Identity Theft to identity trends and patterns, information is also used to assist law enforcement agencies in possible investigations.

Useful Link:

Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre: IDENTITY THEFT

 

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(post contributed by Lisa L, SVCPC Volunteer)