Posted by RycePapers | Filed under RycePapers
Attending the ideaCity conference this year, I had the good fortune to meet Barry Boyd. He works at idAlerts Canada Inc., an identity theft prevention company providing Credit Bureau monitoring services to organizations and individuals.
We both recognized the importance of getting the annual FREE credit report from the Canadian Credit Bureau (via TransUnion or Equifax) and both of us were surprised so many people did not take advantage of this FREE update on who has been poking around their credit bureau file. Another vital element to checking the report annually is to make sure no incorrect information lies on this important document. If you go to www.transunion.ca you can learn how to get your credit report and score. Monitoring your credit bureau file is a key step in stopping identity thieves before they act.
Along with providing valuable products and services, Barry’s company blogs updates on identity theft matters. Here is one article outlining the definitions of terms used in today’s increasingly internet/credit card/web-based scamming.
While surfing their site, I discovered many terrific articles. Here is one about what to do to prevent theft while on vacation.
As Barry says, we now have a ‘financial DNA’ and people can be on the other side of the globe, or right next to you in line trying to get your financial information. How quaint it seems to remember words such as pickpockets, cat burglars or home invaders. There was a time people had to get up close and personal to steal from us. Now these thieves can use many different methods. Your information is valuable and needs just as much protection as your car or wallet. Another great quote on their website is “Don’t let someone else have the time of your life.”
Along with identity theft lies another danger to our finances: fraud. Here are a couple of things you may not know about scams and frauds from the September issue of Zoomer magazine.
- Those between the ages of 50-59 are the most common targets and reported the highest dollar amount.
- In 2012 17,000 Canadians reported being victimized by fraudulent activities accounting for $16 million in losses.
- Police estimate that only 5% of victims ever report the crime.
Yikes, that could be me getting scammed. I want to be a trusting person. I don’t understand why anyone would want a job title that reads: stealing from other people. But I am reminded of a phrase my science pals Peter and Margaret always use: trust but verify. In other words, trust comes first, closely followed by confirmation. No longer can we operate on blind faith that everyone acts in an upright and decent fashion, if ever we could operate that way.
Just as we monitor our heart rate and blood pressure, we must monitor our credit scores because we worked hard to obtain them. And we must work hard to verify that the people we deal with are worthy of our trust.
That is what’s on my mind today, what do you think?