The Competition Bureau of Canada has published the The Little Black Book of Scams 2nd Edition and it is available online at https://www.competitionbureau.gc.ca/eic/site/cb-bc.nsf/eng/04333.htm. The information is invaluable and should be of interest to virtually everyone. Over the next few months we will be publishing the information from the The Little Black Book of Scams 2nd Edition, one scam at a time. Last week we published Subscription Traps. Today the topic is:
Help ensure your identity remains yours alone!
Scammers are always on the lookout to collect or reproduce your personal information to commit fraud. Thieves can make purchases using your accounts, obtain passports receive government benefits, apply for loans, and more. This could turn your life upside down. They look for credit card information, bank account details, full name and signature, date of birth, social insurance number, full address, mother’s maiden name, online usernames and passwords, driver’s license number and passport number.
Identity theft is a serious crime.
Tips to protect yourself:
- Never provide your personal information over the phone, via test message, email or the internet.
- Avoid public computers or Wi-Fi hotspots, such as in coffee shops, to access or provide personal information; they put you at risk.
- Create strong and unique passwords for each of your online accounts. Password-protect your devices and home Wi-Fi network.
- Use a secure and reputable payment service when buying online – look for a URL staring with “https” and a closed padlock symbol.
- Avoid giving out personal information on social media. It can be used along with your pictures to commit fraud.
- Always shield your PIN when using your credit card. If you hand it over to a cashier, never lose sight of it.
- Shred and destroy documents with personal information.
If you suspect a scam, always report it
The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre, managed by the RCMP, the Competition Bureau and the Ontario Provincial Police, has plenty of information on fraud. Power up today by visiting www.antifraudcentre.ca!
Additional organizations to contact depending on the situation:
Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre 1-888-495-8501 www.antifraudcentre.ca
Competition Bureau 1-800-348-5358 www.competitionbureau.gc.ca
Consumer Affairs www.consumerhandbook.ca
Securities Administrator www.securities-administrators.ca
Ontario Provincial Police 1-888-310-1122