Knowing the signs of identity theft is the best way to arming yourself against becoming a victim. So, what exactly is identity theft? It happens when somebody takes and/or uses your personal information, like your credit card number, driver’s license, SIN, birthdate, to commit a crime like fraud. Luckily, there are things you can do to protect yourself:
- Be sure to shred all unnecessary documents that contain any personal information that could be used to identify you, such as your date of birth, home address or social insurance number
- Never share your PIN, credit card numbers, SIN, driver’s license or other personal information over the phone or e-mail unless you initiated the request
- Collect your mail every day. Or, consider having the post office hold your mail if you plan on being away a period of time. Alternatively, ask a trusted friend or family member to pick it for you
- Only do business over the web with reputable companies that have high internet security standards
- Use a credit card with a low credit limit when making online purchases
To learn more about how to protect yourself, visit the Office of Consumer Affair’s website.