The last thing anyone wants is to find out that their credit card or bank account has been drained, or a mortgage has been placed on your home by someone other than you. But these terrible things happen, and they could happen to you.
Protect yourself from fraud and identify theft by following good financial hygiene. When using your debit or credit card, cover the pin pad when entering your security code. Change your security code regularly, and do not disclose or share it with anyone. Check your statements carefully and immediately contact your financial institution if there is an item you cannot identify. Often fraudsters make a very small transaction first to test their access to your account. If you catch it at this stage, it is much easier to avoid large problems later.
Do not respond to calls or emails that are “phishing” for your personal information. Your bank, credit card company, the government or any reputable business or agency will not call or email you looking for your account number, PIN number, password, date of birth, SIN (social insurance number), or your ID. Be very suspicious if you get a phone call or email asking to confirm any of this information.
If you get emails, do not click on any links unless you are absolutely sure and confident in the sender. Often viruses or malware are embedded in attachments or links, and you can unwittingly expose your computer by opening things from unknown senders. Have good anti-virus software on your computer and keep it up to date; even people you know can unintentionally send you a virus.
Change passwords regularly and make them longer and more complicated, using a mixture of upper and lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters. Don’t use obvious things like your user id, your pet’s name, your birthdate or address, or any other things that would be easy to guess.
Although rare, it does happen that fraudsters can place a mortgage against your home. One way to reduce the risk is to keep a small mortgage or home equity line of credit registered against your home. This makes it much more difficult for someone else to register a mortgage against your property.
These suggestions are just a start in protecting you from fraud and identify theft. Read the suggestions provided by your bank, credit card company, and internet service providers.
For more resources please check out our website, www.actionfinancialgroup.com
Karin Rimnyak, Certified Financial Planner®
David Dryburgh, Certified Financial Planner®
Ian Barrie, Certified Financial Planner®
This information has been prepared by Karin Rimnyak who is an investment Advisor for iA Private Wealth. Opinions expressed in this email are those of the Investment Advisor only and do not necessarily reflect those of iA Private Wealth. iA private Wealth Inc. is a member of the Canadian Investor Protection Fund and the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada. iA Private Wealth is a trademark and business name under which iA Private Wealth Inc. operates.