Don't let yourself be a victim - follow these best practices for avoiding fraud in the first place.

  1. Protect your personal and financial information — Don't ever respond to requests for personal or financial information unless you have initiated the contact or know the organization you're dealing with is legitimate.
  2. Destroy all your financial documents before putting them in the garbage or recycling — Shred, tear or burn credit card and bank statements and any other documents with sensitive information on them.
  3. Never give your personal information over the phone — Unless you initiated the call.
  4. Report lost or stolen credit/debit cards, drivers license, social insurance card, passport, etc. immediately – That way, your bank can block or cancel your card so no one else can use it.
  5. Consult with a trusted and knowledgeable financial advisor — Do you have someone in your life you can call to talk to about financial matters? It's a good idea to have someone you can trust on your side - whether it's an advisor, an accountant, or someone at your bank.
  6. Review your financial statements monthly — Check for any charges or withdrawals you don't remember making.
  7. Never share your PIN number or passwords with anyone and choose PINs and passwords that are hard to guess — Hide it with your hand or body whenever using an ABM or store keypad. And do not choose passwords or PINs that would be easy to guess, such as part of your address, phone number or birthday or the birth date of close family members.
  8. Keep virus and anti-spy ware up to date on your computers, tablets and mobile devices — This is key to making sure that no one can get access to personal information on your computer
  9. Visit websites you're are legitimate — And only shop online with reputable businesses.

Remember: Your bank will never send you an e-mail asking you to disclose personal information like your credit card number, online banking password or your mother's maiden name.