Fraud is no longer as simple and easy as putting on a costume and making a fake ID. Fraud is complex and affects more people than we realize. Fraud is carried out by highly skilled individuals who know exactly what to do to steal identity, money, property, etc. very quickly, seamlessly and quietly. Most individuals don’t know they are about to become a victim of fraud until it is too late.
There are ways to protect yourself from fraud. The biggest way to do this is by refraining from releasing your personal information into the world. This means not posting your address on social media, never giving out your social security number unless required for a job and making sure that no personal documents get stolen.
Something as simple as your cell phone bill can give people all the information they need to seriously mess with you. What information do those committing fraud love to acquire? Your name, birthday, S.I.N, address, drivers license, passwords, etc., etc..
Keeping important documents with personal information to yourself is one thing, but what about when you have two hundred cell phone bills you want to get rid of? The safest way to destroy these types of documents is to shred them. Knowing what to shred and what not to shred can be difficult, so here is a quick list:
To Shred: Most documents can be shredded after eight years, some even sooner. This would include things such as old contracts, memberships, bills, payment statements, etc.
Not to Shred: Do not ever shred things like birth and death certificates, insurance papers, wills, i.d cards and passports, etc.
AMA wants to help you protect yourself by hosting a shredding event in Calgary on May 7th, 14th and 28th (click here for more information). You can bring up to six boxes of documents to be shredded and there is no payment required, you just need to bring a food bank donation!
Check out this handy chart to see how the shredding events that AMA have done have helped in the past and how they work:
Your Real Estate Professional,