Don't Let a Sneaky Scrooge Ruin Your Holiday Cheer

Protecting Your Identity: Tips from Fellowes for the Holiday Season

TORONTO, Dec. 9 /CNW/ - The Holidays may be the time for sharing, but that doesn't mean everyone's in a giving mood. In fact, some people are much more likely to be taking.

The Holiday Season is hunting season for identity thieves - someone wrongfully obtains and uses another person's personal information in a way that involves fraud or deception. Research shows that identity theft will affect one in six adult Canadians - more than 4.2 million people - either directly or within their immediate households. These hunters will be out in full force waiting to get your personal information in their sights. Perhaps they'll open a credit card in your name and purchase some amazing gifts. Or maybe they'll drain your entire bank account, leaving you empty on New Year's Eve.

Here's some practical advice to keep your private data out of the wrong hands:

    
    -   Sign all credit cards with permanent ink marker as soon as you
        receive them - pen rubs off quite easily. And never lend your credit
        card to anyone.
    -   Don't carry your social insurance number with you - that number is
        gold to identity thieves.
    -   Shred all paperwork you no longer need, such as: bank machine
        receipts, receipts from electronic and credit card purchases, utility
        bills, and any document that contains personal and/or financial
        information.
    -   Cancel and destroy credit cards via shredding if you no longer use
        them and keep a list of the ones you use regularly.
    -   Shred or destroy pre-approved credit card applications you do not
        want before putting them in the trash.
    -   Watch your mailbox for your monthly bills. Pay attention to your
        billing cycles and follow up with your creditors and utility
        companies if your bills do not arrive on time.
    

Fellowes Canada offers an impressive range of products to organize and help you secure your documents including paper shredders, binders and laminators, desktop accessories and Bankers Box(TM) record management solutions. Shredding confidential documents is often the first line of defence to thwart identity thieves.

SOURCE FELLOWES

For further information: For further information: Mary-Margaret Jones, PUNCH Communications, (416) 360-6522 ext. 241, marymargaret@punchcanada.com

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