Protecting Myself Against Fraud

This post was made in partnership with Capital One Canada.

We’ve all been there.

Your phone rings and displays an unusual number, informing that you’ve just won an all expense paid trip to the Bahamas!! Plot twist: it’s probably not a real contest… but you already knew that!

For many of my platform’s primary demographic (18 – 45), these scams don’t seem too threatening. We’re the ~digitally-savvy~ generation, right?! That may be true, but we’re also a generation that saves our credit card information to online retailers, punch our PIN codes in public on a daily basis, and still use “password123” for safeguarding.

Like it or not, we’re more vulnerable than ever to fraud. That’s why I’ve partnered with Capital One Canada during March, which happens to be Fraud Prevention Month! I wanted to take time and share some superbly helpful information from their recent Canadian study.

FACT #1: Capital One Canada’s 2019 national study found that 93% of Canadians are taking measures to protect themselves against fraud and identity theft – a substantial improvement over the 53% of Canadians who reported taking steps in their 2018 study.

FACT #2: Only one in ten (11%) Canadians feel that large companies are doing enough to safeguard their personal information. The overwhelming majority (91%) do not have a clear understanding of what large companies are doing to protect their personal information.

I can remember the first time that I felt like I was truly vulnerable to fraud. It was back in 2017, and I was selling some camera equipment online. I was new to selling items online, so when I received a text from a potential buyer claiming they’d like me to ship the item in return for an increased price, I was intrigued! The only information the buyer requested was my email, which at the time seemed perfectly reasonable; I mean, what kind of personal data can someone retrieve with my email address?! About half an hour later, I received an email that appeared to be from an official money transfer, prompting me to click a link and log-in. Upon closer inspection, I noticed that the email address was nowhere near trustworthy, so I quickly blocked the individual’s number.

Had I been careless, I could have given the scammer personal banking information. Keep in mind, this is coming from ME, who’s been educating himself on Internet safety for years. If I can be vulnerable to fraud, anyone can.

FACT #3: 63% of Canadians have chosen to store or save their credit card information with at least one online retailer in the past year for a faster checkout experience, despite the majority (89%) citing that companies could do more to safeguard personal information.

HI. I’m part of that 63%. The feeling when you’ve placed everything into your virtual shopping cart, and all it takes are a few clicks before the items are sent to ship — all thanks to credit card autofill! While this is an incredible experience for online shopping, it can leave you vulnerable to thieves & fraudsters.

So, what are things that you can do today to combat fraud?

  • Keep your PIN private! Be sure to cover yourself before inserting your PIN code.
  • Using password protection on electronic devices — and set up two-factor authentication where you can!
  • Choosing complex passwords — don’t just use “password123”, select a difficult password that uses a range of letters, numbers, and special characters
  • Choose a credit card that has smart features built right into it, like two-way fraud alerts, and ensure you’ve given your financial institution permission to contact you if there’s suspicious activity. 
  • Choose a credit card that has smart features built right into it, like two-way fraud alerts, and ensure you’ve given your financial institution permission to contact you if there’s suspicious activity.
  • – Monitor your credit score regularly by taking advantage of free credit monitoring tools like Credit Keeper from Capital One. Unexpected changes to credit scores can be an early indication of fraudulent activity on one or more accounts. 

 

Have you ever had an experience with fraud? Do you have your own ways of combating theft of your personal information? Let me know in the comments section!

Have a happy, safe, & informed Fraud Prevention Month!

-MR

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s