• Don’t purchase a product or service before carefully checking them out first.
• Be sure to request further documentation from a caller so you can verify the validity of the company.
• Check your credit report every year and report problems immediately. The Financial Consumer Agency of Canada’s booklet Understanding your Credit Report and Credit Score tells consumers how they can obtain a copy of their credit report from the credit bureaus free of charge, by mail. To view this publication on line or to download a copy, visit www.fcac.gc.ca.
• Don’t disclose personal information about your finances, bank accounts, credit cards, social insurance and driver’s license numbers to any business that can’t prove it is legitimate.
• Be wary about calls, emails or mailings offering international bonds or lottery tickets, a portion of a foreign dignitary’s bank account, free vacations, credit repair or schemes with unlimited income potential.
• If a scam artist contacts you, or you’ve been defrauded, call PhoneBusters, the Canadian Anti-Fraud Call Centre, at 1-888-495-8501.
For more information, visit the Competition Bureau’s website.
The RCMP also advises that people use caution when disposing of or selling electronic equipment that was used to store personal information. This includes computers, PDAs, cell phones, and memory sticks.
How fraud savvy are you? A website run by the ABCs of Fraud offers a quiz that will test your ability to detect a fraud.
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