Thursday, December 13, 2007

AVOID IDENTITY THEFT AND PROTECT YOUR CREDIT

The following advice is offered by a major Canadian credit card company to help you safely use your credit card when making purchases.

- Protect your credit card using simple measures such as signing the back of the card, placing passwords on new or existing accounts and being vigilant when purchases are being processed

- Safeguard your personal information - do not share or disclose your PIN number(s), hold your mail if away from home on travel, and secure your belongings (purses/wallets) in public places.

- Streamline your wallet - Before you head to the malls, clean out your wallet and take only the credit cards, checks and/or cash that you need for the day.

- Hold on to your receipts - Keep receipts with you rather than putting it in the bag- and get gift receipts that can be used for returns or exchanges. Keep the originals in a safe place and shred them after you're certain the charges match to those on monthly bank and credit card statements.

When shopping online:


- Look for signs that a Web site is safe - Only buy from a seller you trust and look for signs that the site is secure, such as a closed padlock on the browser's status bar. When you're asked to provide payment information, the beginning of the Web site's URL address should change from http to shttp or https, indicating that the purchase is encrypted or secured.

- Don't fall for a false email or pop-up - Never respond to emails or instant messages that ask you to provide account information for "verification." Use firewalls, anti-spyware, and anti-virus software - and keep them up to date - to protect your home computer.

- Consider how you'll pay - Credit cards generally are a safer option because they allow buyers to seek a credit from the issuer if the product isn't delivered or isn't what was ordered.

- Keep a paper trail - Print and save records of your online transactions, including the product description and price, the online receipt, and copies of any email you exchange with the seller. Read your credit card statements as soon as you get them to make sure there aren't any unauthorized charges.

Five key steps to take immediately if you are a victim:

1. Call the two national credit bureaus and request that a fraud warning or alert be placed on your credit file and request copies of your credit report for review. TransUnion Canada can be reached at 1.877.525.3823 and 1-877-713.3393 in Qu├ębec; Equifax Canada can be reached at 1.877.323.2598.

2. File a police report and request a copy of the report or case number. Banks and creditors often need proof of a crime to erase debts created by identity theft.

3. Contact all creditors to alert them of your situation so that new accounts are not approved or opened in your name by impostors.

4. Protect your bank accounts by cancelling ABM cards that are compromised in any way, requesting stop payments on stolen cheques and adding a password to accounts.

5. Contact PhoneBusters National Call Centre (1-888-495.8501) to report the crime.


allvoices

No comments:

Post a Comment

Your comment will appear after moderation before publishing,

Thank you for your comments.Any comment that could be considered slanderous or includes unacceptable language will be removed.

Thank you for participating and making your opinions known.