How To Avoid Falling Victim To Identity Theft

how not to get burned financially this summer

How To Avoid Falling Victim To Identity Theft While You’re On Vacation

Vacation season is upon us, as the official beginning of summer nears. And for most people, it’s one of the busiest times of the year.

You’re rushing off on planes, trains and automobiles with kids in tow and a jam-packed itinerary.

But before you head out the door, here’s some things to think about to protect you and your family.

  • Keep a close eye on your travel documents and passports. Take a picture of them (in case you lose them) and email them to your Gmail account so you can access them anywhere from another computer (in case you also lose your phone and/or laptop).
  • A big caveat to the above tip is to ensure you change your Gmail password often, password protect your phone and know how to wipe it if it gets lost or stolen.
  • Don’t use free Wi-Fi when accessing your banking or sensitive information. Default to the data on your phone.
  • Check your credit and bank statements regularly for fraud and report it to your financial institution if you suspect anything.
  • Change you’re the PIN on your debit and credit card periodically and make sure they don’t contain your SIN, date of birth or other easy to guess info.
  • If you’re renting a vacay spot far away, don’t wire money. It’s untraceable, and if the offer is a scam, you’ll be out of a spot and your money.  Stick to your credit card.
  • Put alerts on your credit and debit card. You can do this with your bank or credit card company.  Every time you make a purchase, you’ll get an email which you can quickly confirm that purchase was legit.  If not, call up your financial institution immediately.
  • Put a pro-active fraud alert on your credit file – BOTH with Equifax and Transunion – this is an extra layer of protection that requires you get a call if someone is applying for credit in your name.
  • Investment scammers are on the prowl this summer too. Always check before you invest.  Some great sites to visit are the OCS’s GetSmarterAboutMoney the ASCs, CheckFirst and FP Canada’s ca.

 

I recently covered this topic with BNN Bloomerberg’s, Greg Bonnell.  You can watch the full video here.

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