Last updated on November 22nd, 2016
Having your identity stolen and your bank accounts compromised is no fun. Many people go through this every year and while most of the time it’s possible to clear your name and charges reversed it is very stressful and nobody would want to be in this situation.
Some people are shocked the first time they check their credit reports. Some have extra credit cards in their names, purchased plane tickets to cities they never went, merchandise purchased in another country and withdrawals from the ATM that you never visited.
To keep your identity safe you have to make sure you follow the precautions, but you also have to be as prompt as possible in dealing with identity theft once you find out it’s been compromised.
Here are the things that can help:
1. Make sure you cover your PIN
It’s common sense you should not share your PIN with anyone, even your relatives. But you also have to be wary of the criminals that install cameras to collect this information. Even if you are alone try to make sure nobody can see what you are entering.
2. Get a low limit credit card when shopping online purchases
If you do a lot of shopping online you should consider getting a credit card just for that purpose. And make sure it’s a lower limit so that even if some hackers compromise it you won’t be on the hook for a large purchase you never made.
3. Get a free copy of your credit report and monitor regularly
The two main credit bureaus in Canada, Equifax and TransUnion offer free credit reports that can be mailed out to you. If you don’t want to wait for the mail you can try their automated service or sign up for online version to get instant access to your credit report. They usually have promotions that give you free trial periods that you are free to cancel anytime before the trial period expires. Make sure you check it out at least once a year to catch any discrepancies that might have eluded your bank or credit bureau. If you notice suspicious activity- contact your bank or credit card provide right away- this way you might avoid the harm done to your credit history.
4. Review your statements as they come
Go over each line of the statement- sometimes your bank or credit card will not be alerted by a transaction – but you will know for sure if you made the purchase.
5. Get your transaction history sent to you
If your credit card issuer allows automated email notifications about charges or suspicious transactions- you should definitely sign up for it. This way you can react instantly if you feel something fishy is going on.
If you notice any suspicious charges on your credit card statement- call the credit card issuer right away. They will lock your account- which will prevent any further charges and start the investigation to clear the charges.
If you have any questions or want more tips on tracking your finances, visit our site at ArbetovInsurance.com, we are happy to help.