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Snowbird

Alert

A federal government memo obtained through a request under the

Access to Information Act

revealed that the Government of Canada

intends to use entry and exit data to determine whether recipients

of certain government service payments and tax credits are meeting

residency requirements. As a result of the anticipated information

sharing, the Canada Revenue Agency and Employment and Social

Development Canada predict savings between $194 million and $319

million over a five-year period.

Since 2011, Canada and the United States have been working together

on the Entry/Exit Initiative, a bi-national tracking system in which the

entry and exit records of travellers would be shared between Canada

Border Services Agency and U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

By sharing the information with the CRA and Social Services, the

federal government anticipates that it will prevent abuse and eligibility

fraud in three particular areas:

▶▶

The Old Age Security Program

▶▶

Employment Insurance

▶▶

Child Tax Benefit

Officials have stated that the information collected under the entry-

and-exit sharing programwould not form the basis for taking action

against a Canadian citizen or resident but, rather, would be used

as a “tip sheet” to indicate which persons would warrant further

investigation.

The legislation and regulations required to implement the final phases

of the Entry/Exit Initiative are not yet complete, but should specify

details including which agencies will have access to the border-

crossing information and what access persons will have to their own

information, as well as actions which they can take to correct mistakes

and issue complaints.

Research shows that Canadians are increasingly using their mobile

phones and other devices to make retail purchases. However, as

with every new form of payment, there are risks associated with

these methods.

How secure are mobile payment systems? According to the

Government of Canada, consumers need to take steps to protect

their personal information and financial accounts. Here’s how:

Make sure to protect the mobile device that you use for payments

with a password or personal identification number (PIN).

Download mobile payment apps and updates from a trusted

source, such as directly from a financial institution’s website or

from an app store that you trust, and make sure that you always

have the latest version.

Check the terms and conditions before you usemobile payments.

Companies that provide “digital wallets” or mobile payment

systems need your personal information, including your identity

and credit card or bank account numbers. Some can track your

daily purchases, locations visited and other information, and

some may use this information to send you advertising. Be sure

that you are comfortable sharing this personal information.

Keep your passwords safe and secure. Choose a password

that you can remember, but that no one else can guess. Use a

combination of letters, numbers, special characters and at least

one capital letter. And never tell anyone else your password

or PIN. Doing so may cancel

anti-fraud protection offered

by your financial institution

or service provider.

Check monthly

statements carefully

to ensure that every

transaction listed is one

which you authorized,

and contact your financial

institution or credit card

company immediately if

there are any that you do

not recognize.

More information about

protecting your security online is

available a

t ItPaysToKnow.gc.ca . www.newscanada.com

Big Brother is Watching

5 TIPS

to protect yourself when

using mobile payments

8

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www. snowbirds .org