How to protect yourself from Online scam in this Digital Era?
The world is now a global village, quite literally. It is very easy now to process any transaction on online platforms. But here’s the twist – it is now very simple for fraudsters to execute perfect thefts online. CPAs in Canada should be aware of fraudsters who use the revenue registration numbers or personal information to file an incorrect return for claiming a tax refund in a fraudulent way.
When someone is using your identity without your permission like your personal information, social information, or any Government registration number like GST/HST for the purpose of doing fraudulent activities, it is called “Identity Theft”.
Here are a few DOs and DON’Ts to ensure that your identity is protected online:-
- Stay updated on what kind of spams are ongoing in Canada. You can visit the CRA Anti-fraud Centre and get an idea of the recent scams & frauds. It will help you to stay more alert and watchful of such events on your devices.
- Keep changing your passwords for online transactions– at least every three months. Ensure the passwords are very complex and include both uppercase & lowercase alphabets and few special characters too.
- In case your credit/debit card is missing, immediately contact the bank to block the card temporarily.
- Where available, enable Multifactor authentication to ensure unknown persons cannot log in to your accounts. This will help you to secure your data and ensure no unwanted persons can log in to your accounts.
- Whenever you get an email from some odd or unknown address, always think before clicking on the links mentioned in the mail. Only open the links if you know and trust the sender.
- Always destroy the data on your laptops, computers and mobile phone before selling them or discarding them.
- Do not carry important ID documents with you. Keep your highly confidential documents very safe at home, so there’s much lesser risk of theft.
- Do not share your confidential data on calls or online platforms- Email, text message or messaging applications.
- Do not use your credit/debit cards for processing transactions in public networks like – WiFi at airports and restaurants.
- Never share your birth date, credit/debit card numbers, SIN, local address and such other private data on social media.
- Do not download unverified applications on any of your devices. Scammers have developed apps that contain hidden agenda of stealing your banking credentials and stealing your identity and wealth.