Identity theft occurs when someone obtains and uses another individual's personal data in some way that involves theft or deception. Stealing or hijacking the identity of another person provides an effective means for a criminal to commit fraud, impersonation and other crimes.
By Getting this Information from You:
- Your name
- Your date of birth
- Your home address
- Your Social Insurance Number (SIN)
- Access your financial accounts
- Transfer bank balances
- Withdraw cash
- Open new bank accounts
- Apply for loans, credit cards, purchase vehicles, and - in extreme cases - take luxury vacations or sell your home
Who Are The Targets?
Everyone is vulnerable, simply as a result of going about normal, everyday activities.
Thieves' success at stealing your identity depends on their ability to obtain your information and their knowledge of how to use it illegally.
How Thieves Get Your Information:
- Stealing your wallet
- Stealing personal documents from your vehicle
- Stealing mail out of your mailbox
- Fraudulently redirecting your mail
- Going through trash cans for credit card and loan applications
- Tampering with automated banking machines (ATMs) and point-of-sale terminals
- Compiling information from Internet accessible records
- Searching public records such as newspapers or telephone books
- Buying information from a dishonest employee working for a company that keeps personal/financial information
- Creating fake contests
What Happens With Stolen Information?
Someone appropriates your personal information without your knowledge.
Places where thieves manipulate and alter the real identification information. Advances in computer technology and in photocopiers have made it easier for thieves to steal information and create identities, which make high-quality forged identifications hard to detect. These factories create IDs, such as credit cards, cheques driver's licences and even currency.
If Your Identity Is Stolen:
- If your credit card(s) and/or government-issued document(s) has been lost or stolen, notify the issuing authority immediately to have the document(s) cancelled and a new one(s) issued
- Complete Ontario's new standard "Identity Theft Statement" and send it to the credit issuers and financial institutions you deal with
- Contact Canada's two national credit reporting agencies:
- Trans Canada Union: 1-877-525-3823
- Equifax Canada: 1-800-465-7166
- Contact each financial institution or credit company that was victimized
- Report the incident to the police
- You may be advised to report the incident to Phonebusters National Call Centre: 1-800-495-8501
- Be aware of your surroundings and the people you speak with when using your credit card and/or showing your identification
- Keep a record of transactions to compare against monthly statements
Download a PDF version of the tips featured on this page.
Did You Know?
Follows are the street values of everyday pieces of personal identification:
Social Insurance Cards: $50
Driver's Licences: $200
Expired Driver's Licences: $50
Citizenship Cards: $100 - $150
Identity Theft Form:
A form is available that you can use to quickly notify financial institutions, credit card issuers and other companies that you have been a victim of identity theft. Find it online at www.antifraudcentre.ca
Halton Regional Police Service Fraud Unit