MANAGING THE RISK OF FRAUD
Produced by the Litigation and Dispute Resolution Division of Levi & Sinclair, LLP, Chartered Accountants 4141 Sherbrooke Street West, Suite 240, Westmount, Quebec H3Z 1B8 Tel: (514) 931-7600 Fax: (514) 931-3600
IDENTITY THEFT CAN HAPPEN TO ANYONE PART 3
DO'S AND DON'TS
This is the final instalment of our 3 part series on identity theft in which we present an explanation of what identity theft is, how the fraudsters can acquire your identity and what you can do to protect against becoming a victm. Lastly, should all of the above fail and you do become a victim, what to do so as to minimize your loss and exposure. If you have missed the first two parts, please visit our website to get your copies (www.levifca.com).
CAN I PROTECT MY IDENTITY?
The good news is that there are things you can do to help protect against becoming a victim of identity theft, to discover suspicious activity early and to correct problems if you might be a victim.
The Federal Trade Commission, which
is one of the lead federal agencies in consumer fraud prevention programs in the US, calls these steps “Deter, Detect and Defend.” All of these steps are based on the ideas of prudent self- protection and a good measure of common sense.
When it comes to identity theft, the saying that an “ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” certainly holds true. Deterrence actions make it difficult
Approximately 10 million Americans each year discover that their personal information has been used to open fraudulent bank accounts, credit cards, or utility accounts – or used to commit crimes.
Don't give out your personal information on the phone and do not confirm any information on the phone. Don't give a card number over the phone unless you initiated the call. Don't, if possible, deposit outgoing mail in collection boxes or at your local post office unless the box is secure. Don't leave incoming mail in your mailbox overnight. Don't carry your social security card around, leave it at home in a safe place. Do report lost or stolen cheques immediately. Do tear or shred anything that is waste that contains your name and address. Do check financial statements regularly. Do limit printed information on your personal cheques to just a first initial and last name. Do retrieve all purchase receipts with credit card information. Do obtain a free credit report at least twice a year and crosscheck all accounts. Do keep list all accounts and credit cards with their numbers and the phone number to call and cancel if lost or stolen, in a secure place. Do carry ony the credit cards you will use.