Identity Theft

Last year in Canada there were 9,481 reported Identity Theft complaints, according to authorities, with loses into the millions.

Once bad guys get ahold of your driver’s license, social insurance number, health card or birth certificate they can then also access things like bank accounts, email accounts, your computer, make purchases in your name and even apply for government services, without you even being aware it is occurring.

Victims have had their finances suffer for years as they fight to clean up the identity theft and some were even denied employment opportunities as a result of it.

October being Cyber Security Month, here are some tips on how to avoid being the next statistic:

  • Shred all personal financial and personal documents. It’s been known to happen where criminal elements will pay low salaried employees working at cleaning companies or landfills to pass over such documents for use in Identity Theft. If the documents are shredded, it makes it next to impossible for those old documents to be used against you.
  • Be suspect of incoming calls reporting to be from large organizations such as Microsoft, Google, or the RCMP calling to report your computer has been infected and they are there to help you. If the caller is suggesting to allow them remote access to your computer – DON’T!! Ask for a call back number and if you are concerned the call could have been legitimate, call the organization’s support number by looking it up online or in the phone book. DO NOT call back any number provided to you by the initial caller as it will just route back to the criminals.
  • Don’t be clicking to open attachments you weren’t expecting, even if they appear to be from a known person. In today’s reality, it’s best to email the person to confirm they actually sent you the email. Don’t reply to the original email (could be directed right back to the hackers), open a new email and manually enter in the email address of the person.
  • If you receive a request by email to transfer money by your “Boss” or to send confidential employee information (Like Social Insurance Numbers or T4’s) DON’T, until you call the person “making” the request to confirm it is legitimate. Don’t email them back, as the account make have been compromised.

If you think you may have been a victim, report it to your bank and the credit bureaus and contact the Police.

Looking for some help to avoid becoming the next statistic? Call us at 506-383-2895.