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 Deterring Identity Theft  
Identity theft is a crime that affects consumers at home, at work, in the shopping centre or online. Vigilant consumers who exercise common sense, monitor their account status and protect their personal information are the best equipped to safeguard their identity.

Safety Tips

Safety Tips

1. Monitor your accounts.
With a close eye on your account, you can spot suspicious activity and take steps to notify officials. The accounts that you hold with your bank, phone company, and ecommerce providers should be monitored regularly. You should also order a credit report every year to ensure that it is accurate.

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2. Never reply to emails that ask for personal information.
Email is a risky way to send your personal information - especially financial or other sensitive information. You can help protect your identity by refusing to give personal information (such as bank account numbers, account passwords and other personal information) via email and by never downloading email attachments that are sent from someone you do not know.

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3. Use strong and unique passwords.
Many people use passwords for online stores that can be guessed, like their birthday, a family member's name or even their user name.

Good passwords have two things in common. First, they include a combination of lower and upper case letters and numbers and symbols. This helps prevent someone from guessing your password and prevents an intruding computer from randomly going through words in the dictionary until it finds the right match.

Second, a strong password will be unique to the account. Just as you wouldn't use the same key for your car, your office and your house, unique passwords are an important preventative step in the event someone gets hold of one of your passwords. It is also helpful to periodically change your password to help ensure that it cannot be guessed.

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What You Should Do if You've Become an Identity Theft Victim

Sometimes it can take many months before a victim of identity fraud becomes aware of the problem. Restoring a person's accounts and credit report once he or she becomes a victim of identity theft can be an extremely frustrating and time-consuming experience.  

As soon as it is discovered the victim should take the following steps

Contact the police and report the crime

Obtain a copy of your credit file to confirm that someone has used your identity

Contact the credit providers involved and inform them of the fraudulent activity, otherwise they may hold you responsible for any bad debt incurred.

Monitor your credit file

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