March is Fraud Prevention Month and Canada Post wants to take the opportunity to offer Canadians a few tips to protect themselves against fraudulent activity. Fraud, identity theft and other types of scams can happen anywhere – in your mailbox or recycle bin, via email, on the telephone and more.
Protect personal information on physical mail:
Many items delivered through the mail contain personal information and information that may be targeted by thieves.
- Shred any documents that contain personal financial information such as statements and credit card offers.
- Never discard mail with any personal information on it in the recycling bin.
- Avoid leaving mail unattended or uncollected from your mailbox for an extended period as this could make it a target for thieves.
- If mail has been delivered incorrectly or if the addressee does not live at your address, please write “delivered to wrong address” or “not at this address” on the front of the envelope and deposit in the red street letterbox at your earliest convenience.
Digital mail security:
Even mail pieces delivered electronically are subject to fraudulent activity.
- If you keep a copy of your electronic bills, sign up with epostTM and keep all bills and statements in one secure location for which you’ll have to remember only one username and one password.
- Use a service such as VaultTM from epost to safely store important personal information such as passwords, bank account information, passport, will and medical history.
Hold Mail and Mail Forwarding services:
Canada Post offers services to help prevent mail theft, and protect Canadians’ mail and identity.
- If you are planning a holiday during March break, arrange for someone to pick up your mail or use Canada Post’s Hold Mail service to ensure your mail is held safely while you’re away.
- If you are moving, use Canada Post’s Mail Forwarding service to guarantee that your mail won’t be delivered to the new occupants of your old address.
Fraud–related offences are now thought to be as profitable as drug–related offences, estimated at between $10 and $30 billion annually in Canada by the RCMP‘s Commercial Crime Branch.
Ottawa, March 5, 2014