According to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, identity theft refers to the preparatory stage of getting and collecting someone else’s personal information for criminal purposes. Read on to find out what type of information the criminals are looking for and how you may be able to reduce the risk of identity theft.
Before we begin, we would like to credit the Royal Canadian Mounted Police for most of the information provided in this blog post.
What kind of information are identity thieves looking for?
- Full name
- Date of birth
- Social Insurance Numbers
- Full address
- Mother’s maiden name
- Username and password for online services
- Driver’s licence number
- Personal identification numbers (PIN)
- Credit card information (numbers, expiry dates and the last three digits printed on the signature panel)
- Bank account numbers
Tips to protect your personal information:
- Never give your PIN or password to anyone.
- At bank machines, always shield the keypad when entering your personal identification number (PIN).
- Choose a PIN or password that does not include your name, telephone number, date of birth, address or social insurance number.
- Beware of mail, phone and Internet promotions or fraudulent websites that ask for personal information.
- Keep your birth certificate, social insurance card and passport in a secure place.
- Shred, destroy or cut up sensitive information before throwing it out.
- Don’t send financial or other confidential information via email.
- If you don’t receive your statements, notify your financial institution and Canada Post.
- Request a copy of your credit report each year and ensure the information is correct.
- Review your financial statements promptly and report any errors or lost or stolen cards to your financial institution immediately.
How to report it:
If you suspect or know that you are a victim of identity theft or fraud, or if you unwittingly provided personal information or financial information:
Step 1: Contact your local police force and file a report
Step 2: Contact your bank/financial institution and credit card company
Step 3: Contact the two national credit bureaus and place a fraud alert on your credit reports
- Equifax Canada
Toll free: 1-800-465-7166
- TransUnion Canada
Toll free: 1-877-525-3823
Step 4: Always report identity theft and fraud, contact the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre
To find out more about what stolen information could be used for as well as the difference between identify theft and identity fraud, please read this information from the RCMP.
Protect yourself from debit card skimming fraud
Credit card safety and that mystery, three-digit number
10 thoughts on “Tips to prevent identity theft”
isn’t it safest if you set up your account to do an automatic deposit for E-Transfer coming to your account.
Hi Randy, thanks for your question. I’m not too sure. I think that might be something that your bank may be able to provide more information on. Best of luck!
I may be a victim of identity theft. I have canceled my Visa card Should I also replace my drivers license? They have the number
Hi Lea, sorry to hear that you may have been a victim of ID theft. ICBC has a process for replacing stolen driver’s licence but it may be a good idea to first speak to someone from ICBC. Here is the website for more information and their contact phone number is 1-800-910-4222.
Hi there. My new DL was mailed out Feb 21 and I still haven’t received it as of April 17th. Is is possible someone has stolen it and my identity has been stolen? What should I do. Its a Saturday so I cannot call ICBC direct?!
Hi Catherine, thanks for contacting us. As you mentioned, the first step is to contact ICBC, if they have already sent it out and the DL is in fact missing, then please contact your local police force and file a report. Steps 2 and 3 are also outlined in the post above including the links to two credit reporting agencies in Canada. I hope you will be able to resolve this quickly.
I recently stayed at a hotel and while I’ve been asked to show my Driver’s License to confirm my identity, I’ve never had a photo of my Driver’s License taken by the desk clerk before. When I asked why they needed a photo of my DL, they said it was their policy to have my information on file. Does this sound reasonable? Or sketchy? My feelers went up when this happened and they haven’t relaxed yet. Should I be worried, or take any other specific action?
Hi Tracy, thank you for posting your question here. We do not oversee this area of law but I found some information on the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada website. Take a look at this page, especially the third paragraph down. You can also contact the provincial organization – Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner BC and ask for clarification. I hope this information is helpful to you!
I recently was a victim of fraud and had given my DL number. I am aware that the fraudsters have since used my DL number in an attempt to use my information. Is it possible to have a new DL number issued so that my existing DL number can be disabled. I have notified both Equifax and Transunion and received a call as a result of the warning so that the merchant declined the application. Please advise
Hi Allen, as this is a driver’s licence issue, it is probably best to contact ICBC directly. You can find all their contact information on their website here. I hope they will be able to assist you further.