Archive for the ‘Credit Cards’ Category

How to Protect Yourself From the Damage of Identity Theft

Wednesday, March 4th, 2015

How to Protect Yourself From the Damage of Identity Theft | Spruce Grove Stony Plain Parkland County real estate | Barry TwynamThere’s no question technology has improved our lives, whether we live in Spruce Grove, Stony Plain, Parkland County, the Edmonton region or elsewhere. It has streamlined communications, made it easy to buy the things we want, and lets us manage our finances wherever we are.

Technology, however, has also made us vulnerable to hackers and identity thieves who prowl the Internet 24/7, attempting to steal personal information including social insurance numbers, usernames and passwords, driver’s licenses, passport info, signatures, bank accounts and PINs. According to the most recent report from the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre, in 2009 more than 11,000 Canadians fell victim to identity theft, with a loss of more than 10 million dollars.

“There are many steps Canadians can and should take to protect themselves from identity theft,” says Ryan Michel, senior vice president and chief risk officer at Allstate Canada. “You can get started by adding personal record management to your annual spring cleaning check-list and by making a point to shred old bills, receipts, statements and personal documents.”

Here are five other suggestions:

  1. Don’t give out personal information over the phone, through mail or the Internet unless you initiated the contact and trust the company.
  2. Don’t carry your social insurance number with you and don’t ever give it out unless absolutely necessary (tax and employment purposes).
  3. Review your credit card and bank statements monthly and look for unusual patterns. If your bills don’t arrive on time, follow up with creditors.
  4. Don’t use easy-to-guess passwords or PINs like your birth date or address. A combination of letters and numbers is best. Change your passwords regularly and consider subscribing to a service that encrypts passwords for added protection.
  5. Speak to your insurance provider about home insurance options that cover expenses associated with identity theft.

And if you do become a victim of identity theft:

• Call the police immediately and ask for a copy of the police report.
• Contact your financial institution and other companies that provide services to you to cancel credit cards and have new ones issued.
• Contact credit bureaus and place a fraud alert on your credit reports.
• Change your online passwords.

Michel points out that additional tips and helpful information are available at

March is Fraud Prevention Month and it presents an opportunity for Canadians to be more proactive about protecting themselves online.  Check out The Little Black Book of Scams from the Competition Bureau of Canada for tons of information about how to protect yourself and your family, and put an end to scammers.

Questions or comments about the information in this article?  Call or text me at 780-910-9669, email me at, or contact me here.

(Most of the content of this article courtesy of

“Saving by Spending on a Credit Card?”

Monday, December 5th, 2011

“Saving by Spending on a Credit Card?” | Spruce Grove Stony Plain Parkland County Real Estate | Barry TwynamAn article with this compelling title in the December 2, 2011 edition of the Stony Plain Reporter and Spruce Grove Examiner newspapers stopped me cold the other day.  We hear so much about the evils and perils of credit card use that many of us feel a little shamefaced to be caught pulling one out of our wallets.  Could it be that credit card use is actually advantageous?  Yes, says this article, as long as you pay off your balance in full every month, and you use one of the many cards that give you rewards, such as cash back or reward points redeemable for merchandise or travel.  And you don’t have to pay a fee for these cards either, as many of them allow you to collect the goodies without paying anything beyond the cost of the items you’ve charged.  Pretty sweet deal, especially at this time of year when our wallets get pulled out a lot!  Check out the full article here:  Save by Spending on a Credit Card from 

While I can’t take a credit card in payment for your house purchase, I can help you save money when buying real estate!  Call me at 780-910-9669, email me at, or contact me here.

Barry Twynam, Realty Executives Leading
#1 14 McLeod Avenue, Spruce Grove, Alberta, T7X 3X3
Tel: 780-962-9696 Cell: 780-910-9669 Fax: 780-962-9699
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