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Fraud Prevention Month

It’s that month of the year again: Fraud Prevention Month (#FPM2018)

March is a common time for identity fraud to happen. The deadline for your income taxes is fast approaching, and you’re looking for help anywhere you can get it. It’s easy to get lost in the mess of it all. Between online forums, scammers posing as CRA employees, and improper discarding of files and important documents, you’re only a beat away from identity fraud.

Thankfully, we’ve all got each other’s backs – including our government. The Government of Canada provides us with resources to stay alert and how to recognize, reject, and report fraud. competitionbureau.gc.ca

It’s even easier than doing an online quiz or reading “The Little Book of Scams.” Before finding out (too late) about identity fraud, you can take the necessary steps to prevent it.

When the news has nothing good to say about the state of our online safety, it is up to us to take it in our hands and keep ourselves in the clear. We make it our duty at First Stop this month, and every other for that matter, to keep you educated and safe before fraud happens.

Tips for Fraud Prevention in the Day-to-Day

Keep Your Personals to Yourself

Didn’t we hear the words “don’t talk to strangers” our entire lives? If you don’t know who you’re communicating with, and you’ve never met them in person, don’t reveal any personal information. This includes over-the-phone job offers who ask for your address and social security numbers.

E-Transfers

“Phishing” scams are designed to gain access to your accounts or get you to send money. Confirm with everyone directly before sending virtual money – it’s still money after all.

Password Protected

Always double check when receiving a notification to reset your password. Did you initiate this reset? If you didn’t, don’t click the link – your account may have been compromised.

 

Winning the Prize

You don’t remember entering a contest in the first place? Then you didn’t win. Even if you did, avoid releasing information before contacting the business directly. If they don’t know anything about it, report it!

Check Your Credit

Aside from checking where you’re spending your money, ensure that there are no suspicious charges on your account. Beware of online shopping or anywhere else you revealed those back 3-digits on your card.

Shred

Bank statements, bills, and receipts can offer more information about you than you think. Store them in a box until you’re ready to take your documents to be shredded. Ripping the pieces won’t cut it if they’re all in the same bin.

Stay safe and report it!