Identity Theft FAQ for Canadians

Identity Theft Canada >> What is Identity Theft

What is Identity Theft

Nowadays, a very common crime in Canada has become the identity theft. The new technology advances have acted as a catalyst. The crime includes claims to represent a particular identity, hijacking or stealing the identity of another legal entity or person. It also aids the perpetrators in committing other crimes.

Information which is considered important, such as the date of birth, address, mother’s maiden name and social security number must be acquired by the thief in order to be impersonated. Next, he takes over the financial accounts of the victim, tries to open new accounts, or just transfers the balances. He may also apply for loans, pay for automobiles and expensive vacations, and so on.
    Your financial and personal life can be invaded and manipulated by the identity thieves. Personal information may be acquired by:
  • The removal of mail from your box or by redirecting it in a fraudulent way;
  • Stealing or obtaining information from purses, wallets, and the home you live in, your mailbox, computer, personal car, visited websites or sent e-mails;
  • Using your recycle bin to obtain related personal information;
  • Claiming to be your landlord, creditor, or employer in an attempt to acquire credit report copy or to acquire access to any of your information regarded as confidential;
  • Manipulation of point of sale terminals and ABMs, thus acquiring access to your PIN and the numbers on your credit and debit cards;
  • Examination of sources used by the public, including but not limited to: records open to the public, newspapers, and professional certificates.
  • Acquisition of stored personal data or financial information from an employee.

Here are listed some key points to follow in order to lower the risk of becoming a victim: all credit cards should be signed immediately upon receipt; no one else, except for you, may use your personal credit card; list the cards that you use more often and cancel the ones that you don`t use; examine the monthly statement that you receive, then note and report all the discrepancies to the company that issued your credit card. Report all cards that have been stolen or lost; make sure that you destroy all the financial documents and receipts you don’t need. Never leave any of them at bank wickets, bank machines, or trash bins. Protect your personal information such as PIN, SIN, credit card numbers, and date of birth while talking on the telephone (unless you started the call); the pre-approved applications for credit cards must be disposed of in a safe way. The same is true for bills, receipts, and other related financial information that is not needed anymore; try not to possess any written information listing your social security and PIN numbers, and the passwords for your PC. Such information should not be kept in your bag or wallet; disregard phone calls disguised as surveys or promotions, claiming to offer awards and prizes. They may aim at obtaining personal information, such as the number of your credit card.

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