While it may make an entertaining plotline in Hollywood blockbusters, identity theft is no joke.
“Identity theft is among the most widespread types of financial fraud,” says Kevin Haarhoff, Senior Investigator of Corporate Security at Envision Financial, a division of First West Credit Union. “Fraudsters can use your personal information to apply for loans, credit cards and even mortgages in your name, which can impact your financial health for years.”
Fraudsters are looking for any type of personally identifying information, like a social insurance number (SIN), drivers licence, credit card statement, or even your address.
“Making sure you shred documents with personal information before you toss them is an absolute must,” says Haarhoff. “And any sensitive information that you don’t access regularly—like your SIN or birth certificate—should be secured in a safe place at home.”
He also recommends reviewing your account statement at least once a month, and reporting any irregularities to your financial institution right away.
‘Shred It and Forget It’
On March 24 from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., visit Envision Financial’s Cloverdale branch (17433 56th Ave, Surrey) for secure, on-site shredding with a cash or non-perishable food item donation to The Full Cupboard, Envision Financial’s signature cause to raise food, funds and awareness for local food banks.
During the month of March, Envision Financial experts will provide information, tips and advice relating to fraud prevention and identity theft.
Coming up next week: Protect yourself in a digital world.