Protecting yourself from fraud requires your diligence all year long. We wanted to provide you with some tangible ways you can safeguard your personal information and proactively detect fraudsters.
Top Tips to Protect Your Personal Information:
- Use strong, unique passwords for all your online accounts with a length of 10 or more characters, including upper case, lower case, numbers, and special characters, to increase complexity.
- Ensure your software is up to date. You can set your software to auto-update during off hours to stay on top of security improvements.
- Check and review your credit report/score regularly to ensure there are no unauthorized accounts or transactions in your name by contacting a credit bureau like Equifax.
- Back up sensitive information to a separate drive, like a USB key or external hard drive. Afterward, disconnect your computer/phone from the internet and verify that you can access the information from your USB key or external hard drive to ensure you still have access to the information if you are compromised.
- Trust your instincts. Be skeptical of too-good-to-be-true offers. Don’t let high-pressure conversations or emails push you into ignoring your concerns.
For more information on cyber safety you can visit Get Cyber Safe from the Government of Canada.
If You Suspect You’ve Been a Fraud Target, Action these 5 steps immediately:
- Collect all your information, including names, email addresses, phone numbers, and when the incident occurred.
- Report the incident to local law enforcement and the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.
- If you’ve transferred money, notify the institution you transferred the money to and your financial institution.
- If you’ve been scammed online, report the fraud to the website where it occurred (e.g., Facebook, eBay, Kijiji). Each site has its own links related to reporting fraud or abuse.
- Place flags on your account and check your credit report by contacting a credit bureau like Equifax.
Did you know that less than 5% of fraud victims report their experiences? Do your part to prevent you and your loved ones from being scammed by reporting any suspected fraudsters using the steps we’ve outlined above.
Source: How to report fraud and scams in Canada