Protect Yourself: Don’t Be a Victim of Identity Theft

Note: The following giveaway is open to Canadians only. 

It’s not a subject that is at the top of everyone’s mind, but in my humble opinion, it’s not discussed enough. This year’s identity theft statisitcs are in. And, they are downright scary.
Almost one in five Canadians have, or know someone who has, been a victim of identity theft. Think about that for a moment. Statistically, that means by the time you’re done reading this post, hundreds of Canadians will have been victimized.

Don’t be one of them.

Identity theft is the most serious, non-violent crime and fastest growing type of fraud in North America. When someone takes your personal information and uses it for financial gain, it is classified as identity theft or fraud. According to Statistics Canada, identity fraud has increased by 8.62% from 2013 to 2014. In 2014 more than 20,000 identity theft cases were reported in Canada, with a loss of more than $10 million, according to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre. 

999999-43859638369_1The very best thing you can do to prevent identity fraud is to invest in a paper shredder, like the Fellowes Powershred W-10C Shredder. The Fellowes W10C Cross-Cut Paper Shredder is a reliable shredder for home office use. This medium-duty shredder can handle up to 10 sheets at a time. A patented safety lock disables the shredder for additional protection, and the unit includes 5.5-gal wastebasket.

So, what should you shred?

Monthly Credit Card Statements. This includes sample cheques or insurance packets that accompany statements, credit applications and expired cards.

Employment Paystubs. If you receive pay stubs on a weekly basis or otherwise, you should keep them only until you receive your annual wage and tax statement.

Personal Income Tax Reports. You should hold onto these (in a safe place) for six years. However, after six years, it is important that they be shredded.

Monthly Utility Bills. This includes anything from hydro bills to cable bills.

Spam Mail. Any document you receive by regular mail, including sign-up forms for a new credit card, a magazine subscription, or any other document that contains your personal information, such as your name, home address, phone number, etc.

Federal, Provincial or Municipal Government Documents. Examples of this would be your health card, driver’s licence or passport renewal notices, or even a confirmation letter of your childrens’ school registration for the new school year>

Express Mail Documents. General invoices or a confirmation of delivery that accompany a letter or package that was delivered to you by UPS, FedEx, or Canada Post Express – even the labels on delivery boxes or envelopes.

Membership Notices. If you are a member of any organization, such as a tennis club, fitness club, library, etc., be sure to shred all membership renewal notices and documents accompanying the delivery of membership cards, credit cards, store cards, etc.

Banking Documents. This includes bank account statements, ATM receipts and old, unused or voided cheques, etc.

Miscellaneous Documents. Any other documents (including junk mail) that contain usernames, passwords, mailing address or a signature (leases, contracts, letters).

Want more info? Join our #FellowesProtects Twitter Chat on Wednesday, March 1, 2017 at 8PM EST. We’ll share ways to protect yourself from identity theft, with tips and advice from @AlwaysSaveMoney and prizes courtesy of @FellowesCanada and @StaplesCanada.
FellowesProtects_Invite_2_REVISED (2)There is no RSVP; simply join the conversation. And, thanks to my friends at Fellowes Canada, one lucky reader will WIN a Fellowes Powershred W-10C Shredder. (Want it sooner? Save $10 at Walmart Canada from March 1 – April 30!) To enter, simply fill the form below with your qualifying entries. Good luck everyone!

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