Everyone is at risk of experiencing identity theft or fraud, but there are also some easy ways you can stay safe online. The first step is understanding what information you need to protect most and some of the ways scammers use to get it from you.
Some basic information that scammers look for include your full name, address, and birth date, while more specific details include your Social Insurance Number, Credit Union account information, and credit card numbers and expiry dates.
You should take extra precautions protecting your Credit Union account and credit card statements (we recommend going paperless and accessing them online, contact us to set it up and show you where to find them online), cheques (most people have switched to eTransfers which are easy and more secure), your driver’s license and car registration, and your SIN documentation. You’ll should also ensure nobody other than yourself has access to your computer or devices.
A couple of the more common methods used to steal information, especially as we’re staying home more, include by email and over the phone. Phone calls to be cautious about include any that are asking for the information referenced above, for example if they claim that you have a computer virus and need to access your device, that you’ve won the lottery and want your account information to make the deposit, or even that a loved one has an emergency and needs cash or credit card information
Emails are usually looking to get you to reply with your information or to click a link that isn’t what it says it is. Some of the more common schemes include winning the lottery or a contest, money transfer requests, a deposit request from Canada Revenue Agency, or even links in suspicious junk mail.
From a Copperfin perspective we’ll never make direct contact through email or phone asking for usernames, passwords or control of your computer. If you’re ever in doubt of who you’re speaking with ask them if you can call them back and be cautious if you’re given a suspicious number or can’t find reference to it when searching online.