TORONTO, ONTARIO--(March 5, 2013) - Equifax Canada (NYSE:EFX) will work with industry partners, business owners, and consumers throughout the month of March as part of its Fraud Prevention Month activities.
Fraud-related crime in Canada now costs the country between $15-billion and $30-billion annually. According to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre, fraud offences (including identity theft) are becoming more sophisticated and are increasingly the work of organized crime.
"Too many people are easy victims for the perpetrators of fraud or identity theft," explains John Russo, Chief Privacy Officer for Equifax Canada. "They can be too trusting in offering their personal information when making a purchase, especially in sharing financial or credit card information online. While this cuts across age demographics, we're finding the victims are more often younger adults."
Equifax Canada offers the following tips to help safeguard your identity in this in this video and the list below:
1.Do not give out personal information over the phone, through the mail, or over the Internet unless you have initiated the contact.
2.Guard your social insurance number. Ask to use other types of identifiers when possible, and don't carry your SIN card. Be sure to keep it in a secure place.
3.Safeguard personal information in your home, especially if you are having service work done there, employ outside help, or have a roommate.
4.Protect your mail. Deposit outgoing mail in post office collection boxes or at your local post office. Promptly remove mail from your mailbox after it's delivered.
5.Shred all documents you are discarding, including pre-approved credit applications received in your name, insurance forms, bank cheques and statements, and other financial information.
6.Consider monitoring your credit file for potentially fraudulent activity by signing up for Equifax Complete™. Take steps to detect identity theft early, which helps minimize its impact.
"All of these tips are practical and easy to implement," says Russo. "As for Equifax Complete, our credit monitoring and identity theft protection product, it's like a silent alarm that alerts you if someone tries to open a credit card or applies for a mortgage in your name. For far less than the price of a coffee each day, you can help protect your identity and gain some peace of mind."
You can learn more about the tools to help prevent identity theft, online at: www.equifax.ca
If you suspect or know that you are a victim of identity theft or fraud, or if you unwittingly provided personal information or financial information:
Contact your local police force and file a report.
Contact your bank/financial institution and credit card company
Contact the two national credit bureaus and place a fraud alert on your credit reports.