Protecting Yourself from Fraud
You might be aware that March is “Fraud Prevention Month”. In support of this we decided to dedicate this issue of The Martens Report to educating our clients about the many types of fraud, and how to protect yourself. There are many known “scams", “pitches", and other types of fraud, with more being invented, literally on a daily basis. Click here for a list and description of common ones provided by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).
Know how to recognize a Scam
Canadians should be vigilant when they receive any kind of suspicious communications in any way, such as by telephone, mail, text message or email. Many may claim to be from CRA, a financial institution, a charity or a representative of an estate from a foreign country. Often they will request personal information such as a social insurance number, credit card number, bank account number, or passport number. These scams may insist that this personal information is needed for you to receive a benefit or payment from them. Cases of fraudulent communication could also involve threatening or coercive language to scare individuals into paying fictitious debts. Other communications urge taxpayers to visit a fake website where the victim is then asked to verify their identity by entering personal information. These are scams and you should never respond to these fraudulent communications or click on any of the links provided. When in doubt, ask yourself the following:
Did I sign up to receive online messages from the sender?
Did I provide my email address to the sender?
Am I expecting the benefit or payment they are referring to?
Does this sound too good to be true?
Is the information from the sender something you would typically receive from them?
Is the requester asking for information I am not comfortable providing?
How to protect yourself from Identity Theft
Never provide personal information through the Internet or by email.
Keep your access codes, user ID, passwords, and PINs secret.
Keep your address current with all government departments and agencies, as well as financial institutions that you currently do business.
Choose your tax preparer carefully! Make sure you choose someone you trust and check their references.
Before supporting any charity, use the CRA website at www.cra.gc.ca/charities to find out if the charity is registered and get more information on the way it does business.
Be careful before you click on links in any email you receive. Some criminals may be using a technique known as phishing to steal your personal information when you click on the link.
Caller ID is a useful function. However, the information displayed can be altered by criminals. Never use only the displayed information to confirm the identity of the caller whether it be an individual, a company or a government entity.
Shred unwanted documents or store them in a secure place. Make sure that documents with your name and SIN are secure.
Immediately report lost or stolen credit or debit cards.
Carry only the ID you need.
Do not write down any passwords or carry them with you.
Ask a trusted neighbor to pick up your mail when you are away or ask that a hold be placed on delivery.
Have you been a victim?
You should report deceptive telemarketing to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre online or by calling 1-888-495-8501. If you suspect you may be the victim of fraud or have been tricked into giving personal or financial information, contact your local police service. If the CRA has confirmed that a taxpayer's information has been compromised, the Agency will act to prevent the fraudulent use of the information involving systems and processes for which the CRA is responsible. If your social insurance number (SIN) has been stolen, you should contact Service Canada at 1-800-206-7218. For more information, see Social Insurance Number (Service Canada website). Scam stories
Select the image below to read their story
Select the image below to read her story
Select the image below to read her story
In addition to the information above, here are some helpful links to various agencies dedicated to helping you protect yourself from these various types of fraud.
Equifax and TransUnion Canada are two services that gather credit information on almost all individuals. At your request, these services can place an indicator or flag on your credit file to alert you of any changes.
At HollisWealth Advisory Services Inc., we're committed to keeping your accounts and financial information safe and secure. As part of this commitment, we have instituted a number of security measures to help ensure the integrity of your transactions and your account information. We hope you have found this issue of The Martens Report beneficial. We are happy to help in any way we can to ensure you are protected from fraud. Thank you, Andrew & Peter