Recently I was in my local ATB branch and they had a great display which included the Little Black Book of Scams published by the Competition Bureau Canada. This independent law enforcement agency protects and promotes competition for the benefit of Canadians- both consumers and businesses.
I picked up a hard copy of the Little Black Book of Scams with the thought I would share with you our members for their benefit. As over the months I have heard the concern from members about doing things online, and their concern about security, identity theft and other scams that are circulating the internet.
The Little Black Book of Scams, which is in its second edition, includes over a dozen different types of scams to watch for, each with tips to keep you safe, as well as how you can report things you are suspicious of.
On such scam is Identity Theft, according to the Little Black Book, “Scammers are always on the lookout to collect or reproduce your personal information to commit fraud. Thieves can make purchases using your accounts, obtain passports, receive government benefits, apply for loans and more. This could turn your life upside down. ”
“They look for credit card information, bank account details, full name and signature, date of birth, social insurance number, full address, mother’s maiden name, online usernames and passwords, driver’s license number and passport number. Identity theft is a serious crime!”
Here are some tips to protect yourself from the Little Black Book of Scams:
- Never provide your personal information over the phone, via texct message, email or internet.
- Avoid public computers or Wi-Fi hotspots, such as in coffee shops, to access or provide personal information, they put you at risk.
- Create strong and unique passwords for each of your online accounts. Password-protect your devicesand home Wi-Fi network.
- Use a secure and reputable payment service when buying online–look for a URL (web address) starting with “https” and a closed padlock symbol.
- Avoid giving out peronsal information on social media. It can be used along iwth your pictures to comit fraud.
- Always sheidl your PIN when using your card. If you had it over to a cashier, never lose sight of it.
- Shred and destroy documents with personal information.
If you suspect a scam, always report it! To find out how and where to Report a Scam click here.
Download a copy of the Little Black Book of Scams here