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TORONTO, ON, March 1, 2021

Knowledge is Power. Know the red flags to help prevent fraud

Every March, government and business leaders take time to focus on the critical issue of fraud prevention and helping Canadians to recognize, reject, and report fraud. As part of this effort, ID Assist’s commitment is to help keep you informed about what to look out for, understand how to stay safe, and how we can help if you become a victim of fraud.

Criminals are taking advantage of the uncertainty and social isolation that the pandemic has created to increasingly defraud Canadians. Cyber fraud complaints took a huge jump last year, increasing almost 50% over 2019 and accounting for over $100 million in losses. Now more than ever, you need to take the steps necessary to protect yourself and your family from the threat of fraud.

Knowledge is power and knowing what to watch out for and how you can protect yourself is key.

  • Be careful with unexpected requests to send or accept money. If you suddenly receive an unexpected email or call from a relative in trouble “overseas”, contact them on your own to make sure the request is real. And as much as we all like to receive money, getting an unexpected cheque or money transfer is most likely a fraud designed to part you from your money.
  • Only shop on secure websites that you trust. Only purchase from well-known retailers that use HTTPS rather than HTTP. HTTPS indicates that the website uses a secured connection while HTTP doesn’t, and your information can easily be intercepted and stolen. And if that deal seems too good to be true – it probably is.
  • Use trusted payment methods. For better fraud protection, use a credit card or a trusted app like PayPal to pay for your online purchases. Using one of these payment methods means you can file a claim if the transaction is fraudulent.
  • Review your passwords. Now is a great time to review your passwords. Make sure you’re using strong passwords or passphrases, change them regularly, and use a different one for every site to reduce the chances of fraud if one account is compromised. Using a password manager can make good password hygiene so simple for you to keep your accounts secure.
  • Take advantage of identity theft monitoring. Proactively monitoring the Dark Web for compromised personal information and monitoring your credit report for signs of identity theft are the best defence against identity fraud. Make sure you review any alerts you receive and contact us for help if you believe you may be a victim.

If you want to take one more step to help protect your personal information, many experts now recommend using multi-factor authentication (MFA) wherever possible; it’s a second layer of protection to make sure it’s really you trying to access your account. When you use MFA, a unique code will be sent to you, usually by text message, to verify that it’s you trying to access your account. It’s just one more way to help keep your personal information from prying eyes.

Find out more about ID Assist and how it can help protect you from identity fraud at www.idassist.com

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