Identity theft can be extremely stressful and financially devastating.

What is identity theft?

Identity theft occurs when someone uses personally identifiable information such as a name, address, date of birth, social insurance number, credit card number, or photograph without permission to commit fraud, apply for credit, and/or obtain goods and services and commit other crimes.

How to protect yourself from identity theft

  • Be wary of unsolicited e-mails, text messages, telephone calls, or mail asking you for personal or financial information.
  • Check your credit reports, bank and credit card statements and report any irregularities.
  • Shred personal and financial documents before putting them in the garbage.
  • Retrieve your mail on a regular basis to limit possible mail theft.
  • When you move, notify the post office and your relevant financial institutions and service providers.

What to do if your identity is stolen

The following are some steps that you may take if you believe that you are a victim of identity crime:

  • ​​Call 9-1-1 for any crimes in progress or emergency circumstances.
  • Dial 905-825-4777 for the Halton Regional Police Service (HRPS) non-emergency line.
  • Obtain a police case number and start to log dates, person(s) that you spoke with, and exactly what they said.
  • Notify financial institutions, credit card issuers, and other companies that the identity theft occurred. Explain that you did not create the debt or charges, and give them information they need to begin an investigation.
  • Report the theft to the two major credit reporting agencies, Equifax and TransUnion. Request that the agencies remove inquiries and/or fraudulent accounts stemming from the theft.

You should also consider taking these additional steps:

  • Report the incident online to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre or call them toll free at 1-888-495-8501 or 1-888-654-9426. The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre is a joint initiative that tracks frauds and scam and takes enforcement action when possible.
  • Contact the Social Insurance Number hotline​ to report the unauthorized use of your personal identification information.
  • Notify Passport Canada if you believe that you may have been a victim of identity theft, or that your identity may have been used to fraudulently obtain a passport or travel document. You can also call them toll free at 1-800-567-6868 for more information.
  • If your ATM card was stolen, get a new card, account number, and PIN. Please see the Canadian Bankers Association's information on credit card fraud.
  • Request that the credit bureau place a fraud alert and a victim's statement in your file.
  • Request a free copy of your credit report to check whether any accounts were opened without your consent.
  • Notify your bank(s) and ask them to flag your account and contact you regarding any unusual activity.
  • Change your passwords.
  • Set up a Google Alert with your name to help monitor your name online and manage your online identity to determine if it is being used for other purposes on the internet.
  • You can replace a lost, stolen, or damaged licence at Service Ontario.
  • Monitor your mail and visit Canada Post for additional information about protecting your mail.