The holiday season is upon us, the rates of scams and fraud will certainly escalate.  This is a time where you really need to pay attention to your accounts and all bank transactions.  You want to make sure you can recognize the signs of identity theft and scams to help protect yourself.

  • Be careful of unrecognized phone numbers or email addresses that will:
  • Ask for personal information like passwords and bank numbers
  • Want you to click suspicious links that then ask for sensitive information
  • Make claims to be government agencies, financial institutions, law enforcement or other legitimate organizations.

Look out for:

  • Unusual prizes or things that sound too good to be true
  • Receiving payment for a job you never applied for
  • Poorly written emails – double check the spelling and grammar
  • Websites that do not have a symbol of lock in the URL bar You

Working with your Bank

Your bank will keep you apprised of suspicious transactions and help you monitor your accounts.  Simply verify that your personal contact information is up to date, such as your phone number and email address.

It is important to note that your bank will never contact you and ask for personal passwords.

Here is some further information that can help you against fraud this holiday season:

Protect your personal information

Don’t give account or card number information to anyone, whether in person, over the phone or online, unless you’re confident to do so. Don’t carry your Social Insurance Number card in your wallet unless it’s necessary.
Memorize your passwords and bank machine Personal Identification Number (PIN)

Don’t write down your bank machine Personal Identification Number (PIN) or your online banking password. If you must write these down, keep them in a safe place and don’t carry them in your wallet or purse. Never give this information to anyone, not even your bank employer. Bank employees will never ask you for this information, so be suspicious of anyone asking for it.
Report thefts and losses immediately

If your wallet or purse is lost or stolen, contact your bank immediately.  Some, if not all banks now have 1-800 numbers that will open a phone app that will get you directly in touch with your bank.
Shred or tear up junk mail and statements

If you don’t want a pre-approved credit card offer, tear it up or shred it. Identity fraud often occurs by thieves going through trash looking for these offers. As well, tear up or shred any personal information you are going to throw away, such as receipts that show your card numbers or bank statements.
Review your account statements

Ensure that all transactions on your statement are genuine. Report suspicious transactions immediately to your bank you can most likely download the app for your bank
Review your credit report

At least once each year contact a credit bureau to check the accuracy of your credit report.
Protect your Personal Identification Number (PIN)

When entering your Personal Identification Number (PIN) at a bank machine, debit terminal or at the grocery store position yourself to block others from observing you enter your PIN. Stay alert when you are using a bank machine by yourself
Protect your credit cards

Sign credit cards as soon as you receive them. Cancel inactive cards and don’t lend your credit cards to anybody.
How to Protect Yourself from Identity Theft

Identity thieves are criminals that will learn and use your personal information to access your financial accounts. Checking your accounts regularly and using the following tips will help keep your banking experience as secure as possible.
Be skeptical

  • Your bank will never ask you to respond via e-mail to any requests for personal information, PINs or passwords
  • Beware of people asking you to move money for them or notices that you have won a lottery you didn’t play

Protect your PIN, password and personal information

  • Your PIN and password are the keys to your account; never share your PIN or password with anyone
  • For added protection, try covering your hand when entering in your PIN number; this will prevent others from seeing it
  • Before you recycle old documents, be sure to shred them first

Practice safe computing

Installing up-to-date anti-virus/spyware software and a firewall on your computer will help make your Online Banking experience a safe one

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