**This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Capital One Canada. All opinions are my own.
According to a recent study from Capital One Canada, 71% of Canadians are aware of the impact identity theft can have on their personal finances, yet just 53% are taking some steps to prevent their data from being exposed. These numbers aren’t bad, but since March is Fraud Prevention Month, it’s time to ensure that you’re up to speed on all things related to fraud and identity theft.
By now, most people know not to share their P.I.N. and to monitor their credit card activity, but those are the easy things. How many of you out there get transactional push notifications on your cellphone or check your credit score and credit report on a regular basis?
These extra security measures may seem excessive, but considering how important your personal information is, you’ll want to ensure that you’re protecting yourself as best as possible.
Fraud can happen to anyone
You may not think you’re a potential target, but identity theft and fraud can happen to anyone. Last year my brother received a physical letter in the mail to confirm that he wanted to redirect his mail. Obviously, he didn’t put in a request so he called the post office where he was informed someone had put in an online application to get his mail forwarded.
This was a huge red flag, so he checked his credit report with both TransUnion and Equifax and found out that four new credit cards had recently been opened under his name. To this day, he has no idea how thieves got his information which included his SIN, fortunately he was “tipped off” by the post office and was able to intervene before any serious damage was done.
So, if you don’t think it could happen to you, think again!
Tips for protecting against fraud
Brush up on your knowledge of scams – To help you protect yourself against fraud, Capital One also has a great resource on fraud prevention which covers things such as phishing scams and online security. Additionally, the Government of Canada has set up a page with many tips to help you keep your information safe.
Take advantage of features available to you – Two-way fraud alerts and purchase notifications may seem excessive, but there’s no better and quicker way to alert you of potential fraudulent activity. Many of these tools are available to you already, but it’s up to you to enable them.
Report fraud immediately – Although a drop of 10 points to your credit score may seem insignificant, it may actually mean that someone has applied for a credit card or loan under your name. Investigate these changes immediately with your bank and credit card providers. Putting a temporary block on all your accounts is also a good idea until you get things sorted out.
March is Fraud Prevention Month. So, if you haven’t taken extra steps to protect your information, now is the time to do so. A few small changes or adjustments can make a huge difference when it comes to ensuring that your personal data is safe. Follow Capital One Canada on Twitter @CapitalOneCA for more #FPM2018 tips!
*Credit Keeper is a service offered by Capital One Canada and is powered by credit history and score information provided by TransUnion. Availability may vary depending on the ability to verify your identity and obtain your information from TransUnion. The credit score provided by Credit Keeper is intended for your educational use only. Lenders and other commercial users may use a different type of credit score and other information when making credit decisions. Currently, Credit Keeper isn’t available for Capital One customers who live in the province of Quebec, or who have a Capital One Mastercard exclusively for Costco members.