March is Fraud Awareness Month

Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations (to March 31, 2014)

February 28, 2006 11:40 AM

From applying for a mortgage to leasing a new car, credit has become a tool that most of us rely on in our daily lives. Part of using credit wisely includes not only paying your bills on time but reviewing your consumer report to detect possible fraudulent activity.

Nova Scotians can learn how to prevent fraud during March, which is Fraud Awareness Month in Canada.

One of the best ways to protect against credit fraud, say officials at Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations, is to review your consumer report file at least once every year. This will help detect any irregular credit activity and identify any errors.

When most of us apply for credit, our lender checks our consumer report. These reports describe our credit history including: outstanding debts, payment history, credit limits, bankruptcies, who has accessed your report most recently and debts that have been sent to collection agencies.

"With so many people having access to such detailed information on our financial history, it's important for Nova Scotians to review their consumer report on a regular basis," said Richard Hurlburt, Minister of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations. "Reviewing your consumer report will help you to make sure that your information is accurate and it's a good way to find out if someone else may be using your identity to gain credit or loans."

Nova Scotians may access their consumer report for free by contacting one of the two main consumer reporting agencies in Canada: Equifax or Trans Union. Any inaccuracies should be corrected immediately, as it may affect access to future credit.

Anyone who feels that their identification may have been compromised, or that they may be the victim of fraud can place an alert on their consumer report. Such an alert can either simply caution any business considering extending credit that it may wish to take extra precautions to verify identification, or it can advise any credit provider to contact the individual at a specific phone number to verify that they are indeed applying for that type of credit.

People who have been the victim of fraud should contact police.

Incidences of fraud should also be reported to PhoneBusters, the Canadian anti-fraud call centre at 1-888-495-8501. Information about PhoneBusters is available on the website at www.phonebusters.com .

For tips on how to prevent fraud, see the special features section of the Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations website at www.gov.ns.ca/snsmr/consumer/ or contact the department at 424-5200 in Halifax or call toll-free at 1-800-670-4357.


FOR BROADCAST USE:

     From applying for a mortgage to leasing a new car, credit

has become a tool that most of us rely on in our daily lives.

Part of using credit wisely includes not only paying your bills

on time but reviewing your consumer report to detect possible

fraudulent activity.

     When most of us apply for credit, our lender checks our

consumer report. These reports describe our credit history

including: outstanding debts, payment history, credit limits,

bankruptcies, who has accessed your report most recently and

debts that have been sent to collection agencies.

     Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations Minister Richard

Hurlburt says that with so many people having access to such

detailed information on our financial histories, it is

important for Nova Scotians to review their consumer report on a

regular basis.

     He says reviewing your consumer report will help make sure

that your information is accurate and that it is a good way to

find out if someone else may be using your identity to gain

credit or loans.

     For tips on how to prevent fraud visit the Service Nova

Scotia and Municipal Relations website

(www.gov.ns.ca/snsmr/consumer/). Information can also be obtained

by calling 424-5200 in H-R-M or toll-free at 1-800-670-4357.

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Media Contact: Lenore Bromley
              Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations
              902-424-2733
              Cell: 902-483-7514
              E-mail: bromlelm@gov.ns.ca