Check out some of the most common scams by following this link:
Any one of us could fall victim to fraud. We want to keep you informed and provide you with the tools to educate yourself about fraud awareness. By keeping up with the latest scams and how to keep your information secure, you can help protect your identity and finances from being compromised.
Fraudsters use your stolen personal and financial information to sell or trade on the black market, collect more personal information about you, counterfeit documents and to commit identity fraud. There are many ways that this information can be collected; we want to show you how you can protect this private information from being stolen.
Can you answer these questions?
What basic steps can keep your computer secure?
- Use a firewall to protect your computer from being hacked along with an anti-virus and anti-spyware.
- Restrict browsing to trusted sites; do not click on any pop-up ads. A padlock symbol on the bottom of your screen indicates you are on a secure site.
- Check your browser, https means the site is secure. If you are only seeing http (without the “s” at the end) do not give out any personal information.
- To avoid clicking on a pop-up advertisement try pressing Ctrl, Alt and 4 together OR Esc OR Alt and 4. One of these combinations (depending on your computer) should get rid of the pop up ad without you have to ex out of the ad. Many sites will now direct you to their site when clicking on the ex.
- Finally, before clicking any links, hover your mouse over the link and see where the site is actually going to take you, opposed to what the link itself may say.
How can you detect when you are being phished?
Phishing is an email that is used to deceive large volumes of consumers. An example is an email from Canada Revenue Agency disclosing that you are to receive a large sum of money as a tax return, asking you to follow a link and enter personal information. You have most likely received several of these emails, whether they have come from credit card companies, financial institutions or someone claiming they have an inheritance from a long lost relative for you. Their goal is to gain your trust and ask you to enter your personal information. Never trust an email such as this. Phone your credit card company, financial institution or whomever the email claims to be from. Speak with them in person, but never call the number given to you in an email. It could also be a scam number. Always call a trusted number from the back of your credit card or from a phonebook.
When can you safely disclose personal information?
Only when you are sure that the site is secure, by looking for the padlock as well as https. Ask yourself, did you initiate contact with the company, or is this a cold contact asking for personal information? A cold contact may indicate a scam, do not give away any information.
Other Safety Tips
- Get your free credit report yearly – always know what is happening with your credit score.
- Buy a good shredder and use it – shred any and all documents that contain any personal information that could not be found in a phonebook
- Watch for skimming devices planted on automated teller machines (ATMs) and point of sale (POS) terminals. Did your card get stuck in the machine, and someone offered to “help”? Never lose sight of your card; most restaurants will bring the POS machine right to your table. When in doubt, do not use the machine. Contact the RCMP and your local financial institution if you suspect a machine has been tampered with.
- When travelling or shopping, upon return, change your personal identification number (PIN) on your debit card – this can be done through the ATM at your financial institution or by asking one of the member service representatives for help.