There are scams in the area that are targeting Identity Theft. What is Identity Theft, you say? It’s been called the fastest growing crime in North America which involves getting the information of either a living or deceased person. Being a victim can affect your job, reputation, credit rating or even access to your own business and financial accounts. Never give personal information by phone, internet or mail unless you have made the contact. If you suspect Identity Theft, report it immediately.

What can you do to protect yourself from being a victim of identity theft:

Guard Your Personal Information

–       Never give personal information by phone, internet or mail unless you initiate the contact.

–       Shield your debit card PIN and never lend your cards.

–       Report missing credit or debit cards.

–       Shred documents with personal information.

–       Your SIN should only be used for employment and tax information.

Guard Your Computer and its Information

–       Select complex passwords combining letters, numbers and symbols.

–       Install firewall, anti-virus, anti-spyware and security software-update often.

–       Don’t buy and don’t reply to spam or emails that ask for banking information.

Signs of ID Theft

–       Purchases not made by you appear on your monthly bills.

–       Bills arrive on accounts you don’t own.

–       Collection agencies call about unknown debt.

–       Credit card/bank statements don’t arrive.

–       Your credit reports show mystery debts.

What to do

–       Call financial institutions and local police.

–       Put a fraud alert on your credit report by contacting Equifax at 1-800-465-7166 and/or Trans Union at 1-877-525-3823.

–       Keep records of steps taken to clear your name and re-establish your credit.

Help Stop Fraud