You’re more likely to be a victim of fraud than your grandma.
According to the Financial Post, “50% of suspect and highly suspect credit application frauds in Canada in 2015 were against Millennials or Generation Y… regarded as anywhere from age 16 to 36.” That’s crazy. Millennials are supposed to be the ones who are on top of technology and know things.
(On the other hand, people born before 1944 comprised only 3% of these suspected frauds.)
How to protect yourself from fraud
Don’t put your real birthdate on Facebook.
Fraudsters can start credit applications under your name—sometimes they only need your name, birthday, and address! You can still say your actual birthday because who wants to miss out on all the bday love (obvs) on your wall?? But to prevent someone from getting all of my personal info, I deliberately put the wrong birth-year (1976). CLEARLY I don’t look a day older than 21. But the fraudsters don’t know this lol.
Make sure you read before you provide info in apps.
For example, like before you buy a filter on a photo app. Sometimes, “in-app purchases” are just a scam to get your info so they can use it to apply for credit.
Shopping online? Make sure the site you’re on is secure and encrypted.
Do this by checking two things: if there’s a padlock icon at the top of your browser window and if "https" is in your address bar.
If you have way too many passwords to keep track of (who doesn’t), find some way to keep track of them.
Use a password manager like Passpack so that you can always find them. It’s better to use complex passwords and just find a better way to keep them organized than to just pick passwords that are easy to remember (and hack).
Always be monitoring your credit score.
Mogo will hook you up with yours for free. If your score suddenly looks really low and you think it shouldn’t be, then you should get a full credit report from Equifax (which will cost you $24) to make sure that everything on the report belongs to you. If a fraudster borrows credit under your name, they most likely won’t make the payments back on time, which means your credit score could start dropping like it’s hot (cue Snoop + Pharrell 👇).
Finding out your credit score is easy: it comes with your free MogoAccount (paid for by us and provided by Equifax Canada), which you can get online in minutes.
Get yours and hook your crew up! Friends don’t leave friends behind (financially).
Chantel Chapman is Mogo's Financial Fitness Coach. She teaches you how to be an adult, and is also the host of our Adulting 101 events. With over a decade’s experience as a mortgage broker, Chantel recognized a need for financial education with many of her first-time homebuyers, so she began creating custom content to help guide them. Chantel is the founder of Holler For Your Dollar, a consulting firm that jump-starts anyone who’s ready to dive into the world of Adulting or entrepreneurship. Her role at Mogo puts her skills to use creating and teaching digestible, educational financial literacy content geared to millennials and daring entrepreneurs.