Identity Theft is a growing problem in Canada and the U.S. and it’s consequences can be devastating to it’s victims not only by way of economic loss, but in damage to your credit standing which can take years to correct.
Please be aware that Alberta Mortgages will NEVER request you to send sensitive information via e-mail.
The following are some tips that the Canadian R.C.M.P. have compiled to help you from falling victim to this crime:
TIPS FOR PROTECTING YOUR IDENTITY
Review and remember the following points to avoid becoming an easy target:
- sign all credit cards when you receive them
- never loan your credit cards to anyone
- cancel credit cards you do not use and keep a list of the ones you use regularly
- immediately report lost or stolen credit cards and any discrepancies in your monthly statements to the issuing credit card company
- never leave receipts at bank machines, bank wickets, in trash cans, or at unattended gasoline pumps; ensure you destroy paperwork you no longer need
- never provide personal information such as SIN, date of birth, credit card numbers, or PIN over the telephone unless you initiate the call
- promptly remove mail from your ‘secure’ mailbox after delivery and do not leave pieces of mail lying around your residence or work site
- shred or otherwise destroy pre-approved credit card applications, credit card receipts, bills and related information when no longer needed
- avoid keeping a written record of your bank PIN number(s), social insurance number and computer passwords, and never keep this information in your wallet or hand bag
- avoid mail or telephone solicitations disguised as promotions or surveys offering instant prizes or awards designed for the purpose of obtaining your personal details including credit card numbers
Conducting Business Online
While conducting business online is a convenient and efficient way to manage our daily affairs, Please beware that you should take the same care and caution when completing online transactions as you do when managing your valuable assets in offline transactions.
The following are some simple recommendations which will help you to safe guard your personal information:
- install and frequently update a proven antivirus software product.
- ensure that browsers and operating systems (i.e. MS Windows) are up to date and that security patches are applied.
- be suspicious of any e-mails with requests for personal, financial or sensitive information. Reputable websites will not normally ask users to disclose this kind of information via e-mail.
- not fill out forms in e-mail messages that ask for personal, financial or sensitive information.
- use caution with links supplied in e-mails. Do not click on links in e-mails if you suspect that the message might not be authentic (i.e. if you don’t recognize the sender or understand the subject or message).
- always verify they have the correct website address for sites that require users to authenticate by providing information such as a password. Users should change passwords regularly, use hard-to-guess passwords (e.g. using a combination of letters, numbers, and characters including both uppercase and lowercase format), and never share passwords with anyone.
- always ensure that a secure website is used when submitting credit card or other sensitive information via your web browser (this is usually displayed in the status bar).
- contact the organization via telephone if there is any doubt as to the veracity of an e-mail or website. Do not use the phone number provided by the suspicious e-mail or website.
- always report phishing e-mails to the organization first. Users can report incidents to local law enforcement agencies to officially open an investigation.
Please be aware that Alberta Mortgages will NEVER request you to send sensitive information via e-mail, we will always request you conduct your business with us online through our secure sever in our online application form.