Europe/Amsterdam Uses Fraud Awareness Month to Remind Consumers How to Help Guard Against Increasingly Prevalent, Costly Crime

If you’ve ever been concerned about identity theft, you should know that you’re not alone. uses this Fraud Awareness Month to help consumers better safeguard their good name from becoming a victim of this increasingly prevalent crime.

Some 17,000 Canadians lost more than $13-million to identity fraud in 2011, twice the dollar loss reported in 2007, according to figures collected by the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre, a federal organization which tracks identity crime.

“Identity theft continues to be a growing concern for many Canadians and identity thieves can get hold of your personal information in a variety of sneaky and illegal ways,” said Sonja Schindeler, vice president, Fraud and ID Management for, one of Canada’s national credit reporting companies. “The more you know about this pervasive crime and how it occurs, the better prepared you will be to protect yourself.”

From account takeover to identity theft, these crimes are often time consuming for consumers to work through. Although it is hard to truly avoid becoming a victim of identity theft, there are a few ways you can help guard against identity theft and detect it. During Fraud Awareness Month, provides the following tips:

  • First, carry only what you need in your wallet. Leave extra credit cards, your Social Insurance card, PIN numbers and other info at home or in another safe place.
  • Watch your mail for statements from creditors that you have not opened accounts with or statements or bills that you normally receive on a regular basis that have stopped coming.
  • Consider a locked mailbox at home. Going on vacation? Have your mail held at the post office.
  • Buy a shredder and destroy unneeded bills or documents that contain personal information.
  • Use only secure websites to conduct transactions. Never disclose personal information over the telephone or Internet unless it is to a trusted source and/or you initiated the call/transaction.
  • Review credit card and bank statements carefully every month. If something doesn’t look right, investigate it immediately.
  • Request a fraud alert be placed on your file. This will alert creditors to take additional steps, like contacting you before approving credit applications or other transactions. It is important to note that, subject to applicable law, credit grantors have the discretion to decide what steps they will take (if any) when they see the fraud alert on your credit file.
  • Review your credit reports frequently. Subscribe to a credit monitoring service, such as the service available at, which alerts you to critical changes made to those reports. This will help you detect not only signs of fraud, but identity theft as well.

For more information on preventing identity theft and fraud or to begin your credit monitoring subscription today, visit

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