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The Keep-Your-Identity-Yours Q and A

Overview

Published: 06/02/2016

by Arielle Duke

It's one of the easiest tools Canadians can use to find signs of identity theft and fraud. A credit report will show you when someone has opened credit cards and other loans in your name.

March is Fraud Prevention Month in Canada – a time when Canadians should focus their attention on protecting their personal information. Why? Your personal identification numbers and online passwords give you direct access to your financial accounts. If that information falls into the wrong hands, you could quickly become a victim of theft or fraud.

Take this quiz to determine if you know how to protect yourself.

Q: The only way I've been able to keep track of my passwords is to use the same one. Is that safe?

A: No. The best line of defence against identity thieves, who want to steal your personal information to access your money, is to create unique passwords using a combination of letters, numbers and symbols that you change often.

Q: Name five things you can do to protect yourself from identity thieves.

A: Install and use up-to date anti-virus software on your computer, review your bank statements for any unusual activity, change your PIN often, request and review your credit report and shred your personal mail.

Q: What do I do if I'm victimized by identity theft?

A: Write down when you noticed the fraud and the actions you took, file a report with your local police, contact the affected financial institutions and the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre and advise Canada's two credit-rating agencies, Equifax Canada or TransUnion Canada.

Q: Do I need to read my bank statements? I normally keep track of everything in my head.

A: Yes, you need to carefully read each of your statements. You can protect yourself by reviewing your statements regularly to make sure that you made all the transactions listed. Contact your financial institution immediately if you notice unauthorized transactions.

Q: Why is ordering my credit report important?

It's one of the easiest tools Canadians can use to find signs of identity theft and fraud. A credit report will show you when someone has opened credit cards and other loans in your name.

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