Identity theft has become one of the fastest growing crimes in Canada and the United States. However, here are a few simple tips that will reduce your risk of becoming a victim to this crime:
- Review your credit card and bank statements regularly and thoroughly for any suspicious activity.
- Regularly review your credit reports; even as often as quarterly. There are credit sites that offer this service without charge.
- Do not respond to unsolicited e-mails or phone calls asking for your social insurance number, billing information, login or any other personal information.
- If you suspect any suspicious activity regarding your personal financial information, immediately report it to the appropriate bank, credit card company, credit bureau, law enforcement and PhoneBusters. If it truly is a case of identity theft, the sooner you report it the less damage there will be to your finances and credit rating.
- Keep in a safe place, a list of your cards, account numbers, expiration dates and toll-free customer service numbers. Photocopy both sides of your cards, driver’s licence, etc. This will save you considerable time should you need to contact the credit card company or other institutions.
- Buy a paper shredder. Shred all documentation that identifies your personal information; particularly letters and offers from credit card companies that you do not plan to apply for.
- Keep your computer’s virus detection software current. Install and keep current your spyware software program. Use and become familiar with the security features of your web browser; ideally it should encrypt or scramble information you send over the Internet.
Identity Theft Insurance can also be added to your home, condo, or tenant insurance policy. Call us today to find out how easy it is to add some more peace of mind to your policy!