If you’ve seen the movie Identity Thief, the topic of identity theft might make you laugh a little as you think of the antics of Jason Bateman and Melissa McCarthy’s characters. If you know anyone in real life who has been the victim of identity theft, you’ll know that it’s no laughing matter. While it’s true that an identity thief can be anyone (including a lady in Florida with 1980’s style blue eyeshadow) the chances of the story ending in a hilarious, but ultimately feel-good road trip are really, well, nil.
There are a few things you can do to try and prevent identity theft. First, Be smart about your passwords and PINs. Change them often, and make sure to use a variety of characters, including upper & lower case letters as well as numbers. “123456” and “password” don’t cut it!
If you’re like me, and don’t get a paper statement for your debit or credit card accounts anymore, it can be hard to remember to check your statements. Set yourself a reminder to review your statements (whether they be physical, online, or in an app) and make sure none of your purchases seem out of place. Sometimes thieves will make a small ‘test’ purchase to see if the card works before they start spending the real big bucks, so stay vigilant! Call your financial institution immediately if anything seems off.
Shred personal documents! If you don’t have a shredder at home, or your “to shred” pile is taller than you are, come out on Saturday May 14th to City Hall for Crime Prevention’s Community Shred Away Day to dispose of confidential documents safely (and for free)!
For more information about identity theft, join us on May 3rd for our Identity theft Lunch & Learn with the RCMP. To register check out: http://www.cityofgp.com/index.aspx?page=2505
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