Identity theft has become of the quickest growing crimes, not only in Canada but in the world. Victims usually discover an issue when bills arrive or they were denied credit. By that time the criminal has probably discarded the identity and moved on to a new. In most cases, victims do not must pay the immense bills racked up by the thieves.They must however face hours of dealing with bill collectors, creditors and credit reporting agencies, trying to clear their names. 

The living are not the only victims the dead are often targeted . In fact, thieves often prefer stealing the identities of the dead. Who is going to call the police?

How Can A Person Steal Your Identity?

First the thief needs to collect only a quantity of the following pieces of personal knowledge: birth name, address, date of birth, social insurance number, and/or mother's maiden name.

Where Can The Thief Get This Knowledge From?

An identity thief can basically get this knowledge by stealing your mail, stealing or finding a lost wallet, sifting through your rubbish for discarded credit card statements or any other documents that contain your personal knowledge. A new goldmine for thieves are social networking sites like Facebook. often people post way much personal knowledge like birthdays, full birth names, place of employment, phone numbers, etc...

Simple Ways To Prevent Your Identification From Being Stolen:

Credit & Debit Cards
Sign all of your cards as soon as you get them. There is no require to over all 6 credit cards & four debit cards you own. Only over the or cards that you use the most often and cancel or safely store cards that you do not use.

Leave Home Without Them

No require to over around your social insurance card, passport and/or birth certificate.
There's only a selected number of government departments and programs authorized to collect and use the Social Insurance Number. There is no law against someone asking for your Social Insurance Number. So unless you are dealing with the government you are not obliged to disclose it. Canada's Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA) states that organizations like banks, telecommunications companies and airlines cannot require you to consent to the collection, use or disclosure of your personal information unless it is necessary for a specific and legitimate purpose.

This means that unless an organization can demonstrate that your SIN is necessary by law, or that no alternative identifier would suffice to complete the transaction, you cannot be denied a product or service on the grounds of your refusal to provide your SIN. 
In the event you disagree with a request for your SIN made by an organization that is subject to the PIPEDA, you can complain to the Privacy Commissioner of Canada, who will inquire in to the complaint.

Passwords & Personal Identification Numbers (PIN)
Never give someone passwords and/or personal identification numbers and try to alter them number every 6 months.
Never use your birth date as your passwords and/or PIN. Always memorize them and never have a written copy.

Protect Your Cheques

When signing cheques or other important documents use a pen like a Uniball 207 which will help protect against a technique used by id thieves called cheque washing. This is when a criminal makes use of various solvents to remove information from a signed cheque -- the "pay to" name, the amount-- and replaces it with information more beneficial to the criminal: his own name, a bigger amount.

Document Any Issues Right-Away
Immediately document lost or stolen cards and any discrepancies on your every month statements to the issuing card company.

Check your credit record every six months or at least one time a year. Mistakes can and do happen. Any mistake can dramatically lower your overall credit score. You can do this by contacting the credit bureaus (Equifax,TransUnion), and by law, they are necessary to give you free credit document per year.

Photocopy all of your cards and any pieces of identification. Keep this list in a safe place (not your wallet or purse) so that you can contact each credit or quickly in case your cards are lost or stolen. Make a similar list for your bank accounts.

Destroy All Facts
Every investigator knows what a dumpster diver or trash archaeologist is. A person can get invaluable amounts of knowledge from someone's trash. Invest in a quality paper shredder & destroy all paperwork that has any personal knowledge that you no longer need including preapproved credit card solicitations, convenience checks, bank statements, journal subscription renewals, etc. Make sure the shredder has a cross-cut action & not a straight-cut action. It is well worth the additional money.

Never leave receipts at bank machines, bank wickets, trashcans or gasoline pumps.

Social Engineering Techniques
Pre-texting or Phishing are techniques used by criminals to collect sensitive knowledge from people either by phone or e-mail. Never give out personal knowledge over the phone or by e-mail unless you are absolutely sure who is at the other finish.

Secure Your Mail

Have your mail sent to a post office box where it is much more secure. In the event you pick to have mail sent to your home install a lockable mailbox. In the event you are away have your mail, newspapers & magazines picked up everyday.

When subscribing to magazines do not include your title, or actual birthname. If your name is Dr. Anthony Michael Kenton use Mike Kent. There is no need for your mailman or a mail snoop to know that you are a doctor, lawyer or other professional. The only individuals who have an interest in your title are those who need something from you so don't let your ego put you in danger.

Your Computer
Another point to keep in mind is the issue of storing personal knowledge on your computer's hard drive. In the event you feel comfortable with doing this make sure that you protect your computer with a nice anti-virus, firewall program & a password to log in to your computer. All wireless connections must be secured. In the event you pick to sell your computer make sure it doesn't include the hard drive. Even when a hard drive has been "erased", deleted knowledge can always be retrieved. Destroy it!

Social Networking Sites
Social networking sites such as Facebook are great... but they are & a playground for identity thieves. To reduce the risk of being a victim adjust the security settings as high as feasible, only add individuals who you actually know & minimize the amount of personal knowledge you display (i.e. your birthday)

These are simple steps that everybody can take to keep from becoming a victim of identity theft.

Lots of have said that identity theft is inescapable, undetectable, & unstoppable. The best piece of advice I can give is to be aware of who you are giving your personal information to, where your personal information is ending up & being attentive to the people around you when using your personal information.

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