Financial Consumer Agency of Canada

Financial Consumer Agency of Canada

March 14, 2007 10:21 ET

FCAC: Protect Yourself From Identity Theft

Ten tips to help you stay safe

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - March 14, 2007) - Fraud can cost you both time and money. The Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC) is reminding consumers during Fraud Awareness Month - the month of March - that there are ways to avoid becoming a victim of identity theft.

Here are 10 tips to help keep you safe:

- Keep your credit card in your sight, or in your hands, at all times. Never give it to anyone.

- Cancel any credit card you don't use.

- Report a lost or stolen credit card or debit card immediately to your financial institution.

- Check your credit card statements carefully and report any discrepancies on them to your financial institution.

- Shred - or tear up -any receipts or papers that have your bank account or credit card information on them, before you throw them away.

- Never give out any personal information - such as your bank account number, your social insurance number, your date of birth, your credit card number or your PIN - over the telephone, unless you yourself made the call to a legitimate financial institution, using a number that you looked up, yourself.

- Do not respond to any e-mails that ask you to provide personal information.

- Memorize your personal identification number (PIN). Don't write it down, since someone can find it.

- Update the firewall and anti-virus software on your home computer, on a regular basis.

- Check your credit report once a year to make sure you haven't become a victim of identity theft, and get any mistakes in your credit history corrected promptly.

FCAC has a popular, useful booklet called Understanding Your Credit Report and Credit Score that tells consumers how they can obtain their credit report free of charge, by mail, from the credit bureaus. This publication helps consumers understand the information in a credit report and explains how to get any errors corrected that may show up on the report.

To view the report on-line or download a copy, visit FCAC's Web site at www.fcac.gc.ca. To obtain a print copy, call FCAC at: 1-866-461-3222.

FCAC ensures compliance with the consumer protection laws and monitors compliance with the codes of conduct and public commitments that apply to banks and federally incorporated trust, loan and insurance companies. FCAC also provides consumers with accurate, objective information about financial products and services, and informs Canadians of their rights and responsibilities when dealing with federally regulated financial institutions.

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