Did you know that March is Fraud Prevention Month? This year marks the 12th anniversary of the education and awareness campaign. This annual event encourages Canadians to recognize, reject and report fraud.
This month long event brings together 125 law enforcement agencies and public and private sectors to combat fraud. During the month there are numerous activities and events to help inform Canadians about the impact of fraud and how to protect themselves. You can visit this portal for more information, and for resources to help you fight fraud.
To get you started, here is a list of tips from the Competition Bureau on protecting yourself from fraud.
- Don’t be fooled by the promise of a valuable prize in return for a low-cost purchase.
- Be extra cautious 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.
- Don’t be afraid to hang up the phone, delete the email or close your Internet connection.
- Don’t purchase a product or service without carefully checking out the product, service and company.
- Don’t be afraid to request further documentation from the caller so you can verify the validity of the company.
- 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.
- Shred unwanted personal information such as bank statements, credit card bills, unwanted receipts, cheques, pre-approved credit applications and old tax returns.
- Check your credit report every year and report problems immediately.
- If a scam artist contacts you, or if you’ve been defrauded: Report it! Your reports are vital to the anti-fraud efforts of law enforcement agencies.
Want to know more about avoiding fraud and being a smart consumer? Check out Momentum’s FREE Money Management workshops.