Oakville Real Estate News

How To Reduce The Risk Of Identity Theft

Blog by Joette Fielding | January 17th, 2014

Identity (ID) theft is serious. It occurs when someone steals your personal information to commit a crime. While you can't entirely control whether you will become a victim there are ways to minimize the risk.

Identity Theft

Guard Your Personal Information

  • Never give personal information by phone, Internet or mail unless you initiate the contact.
  • Be careful about sharing personal information and don't give out more than you need to.
  • Shield your PIN, and never lend cards.
  • Immediately report missing credit or debit cards.
  • Carry only the ID you need.
  • Put other ID documents (SIN, birth certificate, passport) in a safe place.
  • Shred documents with personal information.
  • SIN is only for employment and tax reporting.
  • Ask about the security of your information at work, with businesses and charities.

Guard your Computer and its Information

  • Select a complex password of letters, numbers and symbols.
  • Install firewall, anti-virus, anti-spyware and security software - update often.
  • Don't try, don't buy and don't reply to spam or emails that ask for banking information.
  • For online transactions, look for https://, a closed lock or an unbroken key icon.
  • When disposing of hard drives, use overwrite software or destroy the drive.

With your identity, thieves can open new bank accounts, order cell phones, take out a mortgage on your property and buy cars or furniture.

Signs of ID Theft

  • Purchases not made by you appear on your monthly bills.
  • Bills arrive on accounts you don't own.
  • Collection agency calls about unknown debt.
  • Credit card/bank statements don't arrive.
  • Your credit report shows mystery debts.

What to Do

  • Call financial institutions and local police.
  • Put a fraud alert on your credit report by contacting

Equifax: 1-800-465-71660 and
Trans Union: 1-877-525-3823
(Quebec residents: 1-877-713-3393).

  • To replace ID cards like health, driver's licence, SIN
    call 1-800 O-Canada.
  • Contact Canada Post if your mail is missing.
  • Keep records of steps taken to clear your name and re-establish your credit.
  • Help stop fraud. Contact the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at 1-888-495-8501 or www.antifraudcentre.ca.

For more information on Identity Theft visit

Content courtesy of http://www.cmcweb.ca


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