Monday, December 29, 2014 10:16 am, Posted by Absolute Destruction
It’s time to apply for a new credit card, but you’re unexpectedly declined. To your surprise, your credit rating is dangerously low—much lower than it should be. You then receive a telephone call from a collections agency asking about an overdraft account in your name. The angry sounding gentleman on the line claims that you owe a local bank thousands of dollars, and they need the money as soon as possible. You head online to look over your financial details, and you notice a number of low-key but important transactions over the past few months that you can’t remember making. It’s now obvious: your identity, or your personal account details, have been stolen and are now being used for illicit purposes.
At this point, you’re in a rush to get things straight. Your next step is to contact your bank and credit card provider, your local police, and to get in touch with bureaus like Equifax that track and rank credit reports. You’ll also want to report fraudulent activity with the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre (CAFC), which is a federal reporting tool to keep track of sinister scams. Once identity theft involving credit is determined, you can rebuild your reputation and life (it’s never so easy for those duped victims who send their deceivers cash). Throughout the process of speaking with police and the banks, changing and restoring your accounts, you’ll probably be asking: how did this happen to me? How did thieves find a way in? And how can I prevent this from happening in the future?
There are some simple solutions to take up immediately. First, use non-intuitive passwords for your accounts, never carry all of your important cards in your wallet, never volunteer personal details over the phone or online unless you’re absolutely sure of the recipient, and so forth. If you move, make sure you let Canada Post and all other subscriptions know. Cover your PIN during transactions and don’t hand over your card to employees. These are all fairly common-sense tactics, but one of the most overlooked and essential steps to prevent future identity theft is how you handle your discarded paper and electronic data.
Dumpster diving is still a tried-and-true method for thieves to nab confidential and sensitive information. If you regularly dispose of letters from the bank, invoices, bills, credit reports, receipts, and other information by throwing them into the recycling or garbage bin, you’re a sitting duck for these dumpster-raiding cutpurses. Shredding your documents is thus vital, but even then, there are still risks involved. First, dedicated thieves can always re-assemble a shredded pile of paper given enough time and patience. Second, you simply can’t ‘shred’ computer equipment that still carries your information, and methods to wipe hard drives and discs aren’t 100 percent reliable. The only completely safe way to dispose of paper and electronics is to invest in our onsite, mobile shredding and crushing service. You can then have the peace of mind watching your personal information move from home to truck with no stopovers. Once we’re finished professionally destroying your goods, we take them to be recycled directly. With our fast, convenient, and utterly safe process, there’s no chance of thieves getting their hands on your information again.
Depressing surprises on loan and credit applications, aggressive calls from collections agents—nobody wants to start another workweek with these stressful notes. Enduring the confusing and distressing event of identity theft and fraud can be avoided, but only through proper care, education, and following the safest steps. Get in touch, and let our expert shredders and crushers come to you—and they can shred your worries in the process!