Calgary, June 17, 2014 - A year after floods raged through southern Alberta, many residents' eyes are on the riverbanks and minds are on protecting themselves from potential future emergencies. BBB is encouraging people to make identity protection part of their emergency preparedness plans this year.
"An emergency can separate people from their passports, credit card statements, birth certificates and other potentially damaging documents that could compromise the security of their identity," says Sandra Crozier-McKee, president and CEO of the BBB Serving Southern Alberta and East Kootenay. "We encourage homeowners to make ID protection part of their emergency preparedness plan and ensure their safety against identity theft."
BBB recommends the following:
1. Gather up all of your personal and financial information and store it in a waterproof bag inside a fireproof safe. Some of the documents you should collect include:
Ensure more than one member of the family has memorized the combination.
2. Consider electronic billing for your utilities and other bills.
3. Make copies of all of your important documents and store offsite in a secure location like you bank's safety deposit box.
4. Scan the same documents and store them in a secure online location (iCloud, Google Drive, etc.)
5. Make a list of all local businesses that may have your personal information on file to contact if an emergency does happen to ensure your information is safe.
6. If, in case of emergency, you are unable to locate certain documents or you fear your information may have been compromised, consider placing a fraud alert or credit freeze on your credit file which can help prevent fraudulent charges to your existing accounts or the opening of new accounts in your name. Contact the fraud departments of any of the three major credit bureaus:Equifax, Experian or TransUnion.
7. Online phishing scams also pop up after natural disasters in which thieves pose as a company that lost your data like bank account, credit card or social insurance number. No matter how official the caller sounds, do NOT give them your information. Legitimate companies will not contact you this way.
For more consumer tips, visit bbb.org.
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Leah Brownridge, Marketing and Communications Coordinator
(403) 531-8793 or email@example.com
For more than 100 years, Better Business Bureau has been helping people find businesses, brands and charities they can trust. In 2015, people turned to BBB more than 172 million times for BBB Business Reviews on more than 5.3 million businesses and Charity Reports on 11,000 charities, all available for free at bbb.org. There are local,independent BBBs across the United States, Canada and Mexico, including BBB Serving Southern Alberta and East Kootenay, which was founded in 1954 and garners more than one million instances of service annually.
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