News Protecting yourself from identity theft SHARE ON: Taylor Ablett, staff Tuesday, Nov. 4th, 2014 The Kirkland Lake OPP is reminding citizens to be careful of identity theft. They say it is a growing crime, and includes illegally getting, or forging, government documents. Guard Your Personal Information – Never give personal information by phone, internet or mail unless you initiate the contact. – Shield your debit card PIN and never lend your cards. – Report missing credit or debit cards. – Shred documents with personal information. – Your SIN should only be used for employment and tax information. Guard Your Computer and its Information – Select complex passwords combining letters, numbers and symbols. – Install firewall, anti-virus, anti-spyware and security software-update often. – Don�t buy and don�t reply to spam or emails that ask for banking information. Signs of ID Theft – Purchases not made by you appear on your monthly bills. – Bills arrive on accounts you don�t own. – Collection agencies call about unknown debt. – Credit card/bank statements don�t arrive. – Your credit reports show mystery debts. What to do – Call financial institutions and local police. – Put a fraud alert on your credit report by contacting Equifax at 1-800-465-7166 and/or Trans Union at 1-877-525-3823. – Keep records of steps taken to clear your name and re-establish your credit. Help Stop Fraud For information on the types of schemes involved with identity theft, call the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at 1-888-495-8501 or visit their website at www.antifraudcentre.ca.