Tips for preventing identity theft:
- Shred (into confetti – not strips) rather than toss items such as your credit card statement, bank statements, pay stubs and pre-approved credit card applications
- Keep track of when you should be receiving your credit card statement. Identity thieves can change your billing address.
- Take inventory of what you carry around in your wallet – minimize the amount of personal information – in case of your wallet being stolen
- Memorize your pin numbers – don’t keep them on a scrap of paper in your wallet
- Stand directly in front of the ATM machine and cover the pin pan with one hand while you enter your pin
- Have your new cheques mailed to your bank branch rather than to your own home address
Guard your personal information. The identity thief can take over your financial accounts, open new bank accounts, transfer bank balances, apply for loans and credit cards in your name. You can add Identity Theft coverage to your property policy. This coverage will protect you from costs such as legal fees, lost wages, registered mail, loan re-application fees, and telephone expenses.
Finally, ask a broker about insurance to protect yourself against losses from identity theft.