IDENTITY THEFT: AWARENESS AND PREVENTION!!!

Taking control of personal safety as a real estate professional Preventions Do's

  • check credit reports
  • check spouse/child credit report
  • lock mailbox
  • shred all throwaway documnts
  • Norton Password Manager
  • Memorize PINs. Passwords, SIN#s
  • Change passwords semi annually
  • Photocopy all documents in your wallet/purse
  • Secure all legal documents and account numbers; tax docs, cancelled checks
  • Destroy pre-approved credit card offers
  • Place mail in secure outgoing mailboxes or at the PO
  • Call the post office if you go more than 4 days without mail
  • Pay attention to delivery dates of all bills
  • Bank Online
  • Use automatic bill payment, auto payroll dep
  • Eliminate paper statements
  • Reconcile billsand statements diligently and timely
  • Pay attention to the expiration date of credit cards and look for arrival of new cards
  • sign all new cards immediately
  • Destroy black carbon credit receits
  • Avoid using SIN#s for accounts whenever possible
  • Initiate passwords for all accounts, especially credit-cards
  • Sign all new cards immediately
  • Have bank ordered checks delivered to the bank and not your home
  • Get removed from the Direct Marketing Associations lists
  • Opt out of pre-approved credit card offers
  • Be cautious ordering online and mail-order
  • Ask all public and private entities about policies for disposal
  • Be aware of people looking over your shoulder at an ATM shoulder surfing

Prevention Don'ts

  • Don't Leave your wallet/purse in your car
  • Don't carry SIN cards, birth certificates or passport unless necessary
  • Don't carry more than 1-2 credit cards
  • Don't keep PIN#s and passwords in wallet/purse
  • Don't use common passwords; Mothers maiden, birth date, last 4 of SIN or phone, Dogs, kids name, consec #s
  • Don't have SIN# or Driver's license # printed on checks
  • Don't write account numbers on the outside of envelopes
  • Don't list name and numbers on the outside of envelopes
  • Don't list name and number in telephone book
  • Don't communicate personal information over the phone; SIN#, birth date, mothers maiden, CC#
  • Don't have bank ordered checks delivered o your mail box
  • Don't leave reciepts lying around

Using Technology - Computer

Using Technology - email

  • Use throwaway email addresses
  • Don't reply to spam
  • Don't request to be taken off spam lists, just hit delete
  • Don't open attachments from those you don't know
  • Be cognizant of what information is contained in your email signature
  • Nigerian email scams
  • Beware of Phishing and lotteries

Victim Red Flags

  • Denied credit for no reason
  • Wrong information on credit report
  • Mail stops arriving on certain bills or statements don't arrive
  • Bills from companies you've never done business with
  • A collection agency calls ou for non payment
  • You get arrested for something you didn't do
  • Denied employment as a result of a background check

Victim Impact and Effects

  • Arrests, false convictions
  • Hundreds of hours cleanup
  • Financial expense
  • Denied credit
  • Refused employment
  • Psychological trauma

Victims To-Do List

  • Consult an attorney
  • Document every conversation and contact
  • Contact fraud departments of departments of the credit bureaus and initiate fraudulently
  • File a police report and send it to all creditors and agencies involved
  • contact the Postal Inspector
  • If checks were used fraudulently contact check fraud services
  • Check your criminal records to see if charges are filed
  • Mark all mail correspondence RETURN RECIEPT REQUESTED

 

Resouces:

Niagara Association of Realtors

Federal Trade Commission (FTC)

Identity Theft clearing house - www.consumer.gov/idtheft

Credit Bureaus

EQUIFAX canada  & Trans union