Karine Benoit | Desjardins Group
Use technology wisely to protect your identity.
Take this quiz to test your knowledge on identity theft.
1. A friend asks for your bankcard number and PIN and says he's wants to deposit cash to your account to help you out. How do you respond?
a. You refuse outright - better to be safe than sorry.b. You hesitate to avoid answering and change subject.c. You agree; he's your friend after all.
You can still explain why. Voluntary sharing of personal information such as bankcard numbers can give way to fraudulent deposits and cash transfers. You could be held accountable and be required to pay back the stolen funds since you voluntarily gave out your banking information.
2. You get a text message from an unknown sender or an unsolicited message from a social network. What's your first reaction?
a. You answer right away to find out what it's about.b. You delete it immediately without taking any other action.c. You don't know what to do and just hope nothing has happened.
Scammers hope you'll answer and in so doing confirm your contact information. Clicking on the link in the message may infect your cell phone or computer with malware. If you can, take a screen shot of the message and forward it to firstname.lastname@example.org before deleting it.
You can help prevent scam texts by forwarding any you receive to 7726, no matter what carrier you have.
3. You receive an unusual e-mail in your in-box. What do you do next?
a. You check the sender's email address to make sure it follows the standard format, especially after the at sign (@).b. You dig a little deeper and question the motive for the email to avoid giving out confidential information.c. You move your cursor over the link, without clicking on it, to see if the address in the link matches the sender's.
Answer: All of the above.
All of these actions will protect you if you receive a questionable e-mail.
4. Contests are always fun. It's so easy sign up, especially on social media. Perhaps a friend shared one that appeals to you. Should you go for it?
a. Sure! You get excited and enter all your information in the contest form: name, email address, phone number, etc. You can't win otherwise, right?b. You sign up right away and share it with friends. That way everyone gets a chance to play.c. You make sure it's from a reputable source first and then decide whether or not to play. And if you're not convinced, you don't share.
You're among friends on social media. You chat, share interesting stories. That's what scammers are counting on - viewing and sharing information that gives away personal information. When you update your status, share life's moments and post personal information, you may inadvertently give away your cell number or clues about family members, for example.
5. Which of these reasons do scammers use to lure you?
a. A prize or gain of some kind.
b. An urgent matter needing your attention.
c. A problem that you need to fix.
Answer: All of the above.
Scammers often use one, two or all three of these reasons to trap you. They're betting on your reaction to the unexpected 'attack'. You don't expect to receive a tempting offer or to have a problem with your bank account, for example, which would prompt you to act quickly before assessing situation.
If you believe you are a victim of fraud, call your financial institution right away and report it to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre and the police.
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