March was Fraud Prevention Month, and all month long we were posting tips to Facebook and Twitter to help keep you safe from fraudsters and scammers. Now it’s time to recap! These 5 tips will help you recognize the signs of fraud and give you the steps to keep yourself safe from becoming a victim.
1. Know your insurer!
Do you know your broker’s name? Do you know your broker’s face? Is he or she someone you can trust?
Your broker is responsible to keep you apprised of any and all changes to your home and car insurance: the stuff that keeps you and your family protected when you need it. Be sure your insurer is someone you can trust, someone who is available by phone, by email, and in person. Be sure he or she is someone who will communicate with you in a way which makes you feel comfortable that you are covered.
2. Keep your pins to yourself!
This goes for your passwords too. While complex passwords are your best bet to keep your private information safe from fraudsters and scammers, be sure you can remember them. Never write them down and be careful while entering them into an ATM, debit machine, or computer. Never give out personal information online (even if it’s to a trusted website) if the address does not begin with https://. Be aware that your insurer, bank, or other financial service will never ask for personal information or passwords by email.
3. Be thorough!
If you’ve ever been in an accident you know it can be a stressful situation to be in. It is easy to forget details and it can be incredibly difficult to remember important information just days later. This is why it is important to record everything including details which seem insignificant at the time. Police will attend the scene of an accident if there are two or more vehicles involved. Use this to your advantage. Alert the authorities of any accident immediately. Reporting your accident and getting the police involved will help protect you from insurance fraud.
Do you suspect someone has committed insurance fraud? Report it! You can report insurance crime to the Insurance Bureau of Canada. You can report other suspicious behavior to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.
5. Sleep on it!
Trust your instincts. If you’re feeling pressured into a deal take some time to reflect on the circumstances and your choices. A good insurance broker has your best interests in mind and will provide you with all the necessary information and time to make the best decision for you. Never feel afraid to walk away from a deal if someone is making you feel uncomfortable.