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Identity fraud is the most reported of all types of fraud in Canada, but because victims are not responsible for any financial losses, the high numbers can go unreported. Identity fraud is a violation of personal privacy and can have long-term impact on the victim. The stolen information often forms the foundation on which all other private information is tied.  The impact can affect your banking, credit, passport or Social Insurance Number, all of which can lead to a wide range of fraud possibilities that can take years to correct. 

Means of contact
Various, depending on how or what they do to acquire your personal information.

Description of scam
The scammer uses your stolen information for criminal purposes or to commit other crimes, such as applying for loans and credit cards, accessing your accounts and transferring funds, opening back accounts in your name, or even using your name in an effort to hide criminal activities. 

Tactics used

  • Obtains personal information from activities such as dumpster diving, mail theft, pickpocketing, physical theft etc. 

  • Database breaches, phishing, and technology-based theft also provides access to personal information. 

Additional information
Identity fraud is a serious issue that can spread through many areas of your life. To avoid personal information from being used by others:
  1. Check your bank and credit cards for irregular charges.

  2. Shred all personal and financial documents before you recycle them.

  3. Do not leave mail outside in the mailbox. Make sure you check your mail daily, recycle or shred it if it’s addressed mail. Remove and shred addressed mail from shared mailbox areas, such as apartments and public post boxes. If you're going to be away, ask someone to clear your mailbox for you.

  4. If you move, have your mail forwarded. It may cost you, but the fee will be less than the harm if scammers have your private account information. 

  5. Do not carry your birth certificate or Social Insurance Card. Neither of these are required for identification and carry valuable personal information.

  6. Ensure that you shred all personal, account, tax and other identifiable, private information.  

  7. Check your credit report to ensure it is accurate. For information on obtaining a credit report go to the Resource Centre

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