All About Identity Theft and How to Avoid It

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It’s 2017, and over half of the world is connected to the internet, according to the BBC. With much of the globe being more connected than ever, it leaves room for cybercriminals and scam artists to steal your personal information. When an identity is stolen, it helps to facilitate organized crime and terrorist activities, and sadly, it appears to be a growing trend. According to the Government of Canada, in 2016 alone, online scams accounted for more than 20,000 complaints and more than $40 million in losses by Canadians.
You can rest easy knowing that SolidTrust Pay is committed to protecting your information, and we take data privacy and security seriously. SolidTrust Pay has compiled an informative article that outlines how you can protect yourself in the ever-growing world of cybercrime. You are more powerful than you think!

 

What exactly are cybercriminals looking for? According to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), identity thieves tend to want your:

  • Full name
  • Date of birth
  • Social Insurance [government identification] numbers
  • Full address
  • Mother’s maiden name
  • Username and password for online services
  • Diver’s license number
  • Personal identification numbers (PIN)
  • Credit card information (numbers, expiry dates and the last three digits printed on the signature panel)
  • Bank account numbers
  • Signature
  • Passport number

What could a cybercriminal possibly do with your mother’s maiden name or an outdated passport that is lying in your car? More than you think! Thieves could:

  • Access your bank accounts
  • Open new bank accounts
  • Transfer bank balances
  • Apply for loans, credit cards and other goods and services
  • Make purchases
  • Hide their criminal activities
  • Obtain passports or receive government benefits

 

There are many ways scam artists will try to get your information. According to the RCMP, these are some of the growing trends they have found:

Fake Online Endorsements and Sponsored Content – The reviews and comments you see on social media and purchasing sites may not be real. The review comments are misleading and not the truth.
Astroturfing – No, not golf green. This term is similar to the above definition. It means the practice of creating content that masquerades as the authentic experiences and opinions of impartial consumers, such as fake consumer reviews and testimonials. This is often part of organized efforts by companies to boost their own ratings or to lower the ratings of their competitors.
Binary Options Scam – All or nothing “bets” are invested based on how an asset will perform within a certain timeframe. The asset could be a stock, a currency or a commodity. Websites are designed to attract users to trade binary options, by offering high rates of return and by claiming to be risk-free.
Subscription Traps – Subscription traps, sometimes also referred to as Continuity Scams, can take various forms. They can appear as an advertisement featured on your favorite social media site, a referral from a friend (on Facebook, for example), a fake “survey” that pops up on your computer while you’re online on another website, or from a telemarketer.
Spoofed websites – A spoofed website is a site that uses deceptive means to mislead consumers into thinking that it represents a specific business, financial institution, government or charity. These websites generally imitate the real websites to sell products or services that may or may not be authentic or to obtain sensitive financial or personal information from users.
Ransomware – Ransomware is a type of malicious software designed to block access to a computer until a sum of money is paid. A computer can be infected by ransomware in a number of ways, but most commonly, victims click on a malicious link or attachment received through a phishing email.
Business Executive Scam – Sometimes referred to as the Business Email Compromise scam, this fraud starts when a potential victim receives an email that appears to come from an executive in their company who has the authority to request wire transfers. In some cases, the fraudsters create email addresses that mimic those of the CEO or CFO. In other cases, the fraudsters have compromised and subsequently used the email account belonging to the CEO or CFO. Losses to this scam typically range from tens of thousands of dollars to hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Employment Scam – Scammers use online classified websites like Kijiji, Craigslist, Monster, Indeed, and Workopolis to recruit potential victims. The most common scams include Mystery Shopper and HR/Administrative jobs.

 

It may seem like a lot to take in, but you can do things to prevent your information from being stolen, such as:

  • Monitor your credit score by contacting your credit bureau.
  • Do not carry excessive amounts of documents on you or in your car. Only carry what is necessary.
  • Shred/destroy all documents when you are finished with them. This is a classic way to gain information about you!
  • Read user agreements carefully on any website that requires your personal details.
  • If you are getting unsolicited emails asking for information, check the email address. Does it look legitimate? Have you heard of the person/business/company before? Be skeptical. Do your research about the email if you’re not sure!
  • If you change your address, let your postal service know that you have done so, that way old mail can be forwarded to your new address.
  • Be skeptical. If something seems like it’s too good to be true, or the little voice in your head is saying “hmmm, this doesn’t look/feel right”, don’t ignore it! Your intuition could save you thousands of dollars and a lot of headaches.

 

Knowing about the issue is only part of the solution to protecting yourself. Despite your best efforts and diligent eye, what can you do if you think your information has been stolen?

  • Report the incident right away to your local authorities.
  • Let your bank and credit card company know that your information has been stolen. These places are helpful when it comes to identity theft, and they take it seriously.
  • Contact your credit bureau and let them know that someone has stolen your identity.
  • If applicable, contact your local anti-fraud center.

If you think your account has been accessed by someone other than yourself, please contact SolidTrust Pay right away. Our help center can be found here.


SolidTrust Pay Partners with PayKii for Cross-Border Bill Payments

STP+Paykii

Today, we are announcing that we have signed an agreement with PayKii Inc. (PayKii) to bring cross-border bill payment solutions to the SolidTrust Pay platform.  

PayKii is the leading provider for Latin American bill payment coverage, connecting remittance providers with billers around the world, and enabling individuals living abroad to conveniently pay bills for their family back home.

Earlier this year, we endorsed IFAD’s International Day of Family Remittances (IDFR) on June 16 with a day of free member-to-member transfers. We also signed IFAD’s IDFR pledge to work together to enhance innovative financial technology, provide greater efficiency, and lower costs for a more accessible financial sector for all.

With this announcement, SolidTrust Pay is solidifying its commitment to that pledge. Our CEO Stella Hiemstra has plans to continue implementing resources and solutions to improve the ease and accessibility of international remittances.

When asked about the partnership with SolidTrust Pay, CEO of PayKii, Fabian Saide remarked: “it gives us immense pleasure to announce this collaboration with Canada’s industry leader bringing new cross-border bill payment services.” He went on to state that PayKii “will continue to expand its international footprint by opening up additional markets in 2017 in support of SolidTrust Pay’s users.”

According to PayKii and Juniper Research, bill payment accounts for up to 20% of remittance beneficiary’s expenses with billions of transactions globally.

Through PayKii cross-border bill payment integration, we hope to make regular and remittance bill payments easier and more accessible. Users of SolidTrust Pay will be able to pay electricity, telephone, internet, cable, water, and gas bills directly from their SolidTrust Pay e-wallet, eliminating the risk and cost associated with regular money transfers.

SolidTrust Pay expects to have PayKii bill payment solutions fully integrated on their platform by October 15, 2017.


GOBBLE GOBBLE – October 9 is Canadian Thanksgiving

Happy-Thanksgiving-Images

Thanksgiving is around the corner for Canadians, SolidTrust Pay’s live chat services will not be available on Monday, October 9th. Ticket replies will also be delayed until Tuesday, October 10th.

SolidTrust Pay is celebrating by spending time with our friends and family as well as providing you with 5 fun facts about this holiday:

– Canadians purchased three million whole turkeys for Thanksgiving in 2011, according to the Turkey Farmers of Canada – about 32% of all whole turkeys sold during the year.

– Thanksgiving was first celebrated in Canada when English explorer Martin Frobisher held a feast in what is now Newfoundland to mark his safe arrival to the New World in 1578. The first national celebration in Canada wasn’t until 1859.

– While it is widely believed eating turkey makes you sleepy, many experts believe it is actually the carbohydrates that are part of the Thanksgiving meal that causes you to feel tired.

– Turkeys, native to the Americas, are very old – 11 million years old, according to paleontologists.

– Canada produces approximately 5,000 metric tons of cranberries annually, mainly from Quebec, Nova Scotia, Ontario and British Columbia. Bala, Ont. claims to be the Cranberry Capital of Canada and holds a Cranberry Festival on the weekend after Thanksgiving.
On behalf of the staff at SolidTrust Pay, we would like to wish all of our clients, in Canada and abroad, a happy and safe Thanksgiving with loved ones and friends!


SolidTrust Pay among Top 10 Canadian Finance Companies based on 5-year Growth

SolidTrust Pay Profit 500 ranking

SolidTrust Pay is one of Canada’s fastest-growing Finance Companies

Canadian Business and PROFIT today ranked SolidTrust Pay No. 187 on the 29th annual PROFIT 500, the definitive ranking of Canada’s Fastest-Growing Companies. Published in the October issue of Maclean’s magazine and at CanadianBusiness.com, the PROFIT 500 ranks Canadian businesses by their five-year revenue growth.

Read the official press release.

SolidTrust Pay made the 2017 PROFIT 500 list with five-year revenue growth of 344%. That percentage earned us the 9th spot overall among 28 financial services companies on the list.

SolidTrust Pay ranks 9th fastest growing finance company in Canada

SolidTrust Pay ranks 9th fastest growing finance company in Canada

We’re happy to have made the top 10 in the financial sector, and we plan to continue building on our momentum to reach out into the world and bring more people better services.

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About the PROFIT 500
For 29 years, the PROFIT 500 has been Canada’s most respectable and influential ranking of entrepreneurial achievement. Developed by PROFIT and now published in Maclean’s magazine and at CanadianBusiness.com, the PROFIT 500 ranks Canadian companies on five-year revenue growth. For more information on the ranking visit PROFIT500.com or CanadianBusiness.com.

About Canadian Business
Founded in 1928, Canadian Business is the longest-serving and most-trusted business publication in the country. It is the country’s premier media brand for executives and senior business leaders. It fuels the success of Canada’s business elite with a focus on the things that matter most: leadership, innovation, business strategy and management tactics. Learn more at CanadianBusiness.com.