Identity theft occurs when someone wrongfully obtains and uses your personal information to commit fraud or theft or for other unlawful purposes.

By using your basic personal information such as name, address, social insurance number (SIN), date of birth and mother’s maiden name, identity thieves may gain access to bank accounts, apply for loans and credit cards or engage in criminal activity that ultimately becomes associated to you.

Recognize

  • Calls and letters for credit cards or accounts you never applied for
  • Not receiving mail
  • Unauthorized credit card purchases

Report

  • Contact the bank to close or modify accounts and credit cards
  • Contact credit bureaus and have fraud alerts placed on your credit reports: Equifax 1-800-465-7166 and TransUnion  1-877-525-3823
  • Notify police and record your police file number
  • Report to the Canadian Anti Fraud Centre online or 1-888-495-8501

Protect

  • Use caution when sharing personal information in person, over the phone and online
  • Don’t carry your SIN card and passport on you unnecessarily
  • Use secure websites that have proper data encryption
  • Protect your passwords, change them often, and use unique passwords that won’t be easily guessed
  • Shred documents that contain personal or banking information
  • Check monthly credit statements for charges you did not make and review your credit report at least once a year.