During Fraud Prevention Month, take the opportunity to lock-down your personal information in and outside your vehicle.
An average of 420 vehicles are stolen every day in Canada - as many as one-third of these involve identity theft.
The following tips are provided by GLOBAL id, an identity theft restoration service available through car dealers:
In and Outside Your Vehicle
Be very careful about what documentation you leave in your vehicle. NEVER leave passports, driver’s licenses, social insurance cards, health cards, personalized mail/bills, debit/credit cards, personalized checks, etc. in your vehicle.
Secure ownership and insurance paperwork in your glove box or other locking compartments.
Unattended vehicles should always be locked; close all windows and alarm/security systems turned on. Never leave unattended vehicles idling.
If possible take extra precaution to hiding the VIN of the vehicle, located on the driver’s side bottom of the windshield, by covering it with paper or cardboard.
Make your license plate harder to steal by using a locker which requires a special tool to remove the plate without damaging it.
Leaving your smart phone, tablet, laptop or flash drives in a visible location in an unattended vehicle is a magnet for thieves. If you must leave these items in your vehicle, conceal them.
Avoid using drive-through banking OR other ATM banking in isolated locations and/or during off-hours.
Protect your passwords. NEVER share them and make sure you cover up when inputting to an ATM or debit terminal. Use strong passwords that are unlikely to be hacked or discovered.
Shred documentation with personal information before disposal.
Do not leave data on old computer equipment, such as hard drives or storage devices.
Know the status of all your financial accounts and keep up-to-date so you can report discrepancies immediately.
Protect your computer from viruses, phishing scams and hackers with up-to-date firewalls and software.
Never provide personal information via the internet, by phone or mail, unless you initiate it and it is a reputable source.
Never provide credit card information over email.
GLOBAL id Identity Restoration Service is offered through participating car dealers across Canada. The program was developed by RSR GLOBAL and provides victims of identity theft with step-by-step assistance that includes fraud experts and lawyers who administer the identity restoration process.
GLOBAL id offers a free personal risk assessment survey at www.id.rsr-global.com.