Identity Theft & Fraud
Identity Theft vs Identity Fraud.
- Identity Theft is the act of acquiring and collecting someones else’s personal information for criminal purposes.
- For example: Your data was stolen in a data breach.
- Identity Fraud is the act of using stolen personal information to impersonate another person.
- For example: Your personal information was used to get a credit card without your knowledge or consent.
What information is considered personal information?
Here a just a few examples of information attackers will go after:
- Full Name
- Date of Birth
- Social Insurance Number
- Full Address
- Usernames and Passwords to online services
- Credit card numbers
- Bank account numbers
- Passport number
- Drivers license number
How can you protect your personal information?
- Use a different password for every online service you use.
- Limit the amount of information you give out when possible.
- Be Curious. When asked for Personal Information ask what its intended use for the information.
- Change your passwords regularly.
- If you hear of a data breach in the news from a company or service you use, change your passwords.
- Check your bank and credit card statements for irregular transactions.
- Store sensitive documents in a secure location like a safety deposit box or a safe
- When disposing of documents with personal information it is best to shred them prior to discarding.
What can I do if I’m a victim?
If you suspect you’re a victim of identity theft or fraud, or if you have unknowingly provided your information through another malicious attack like Phishing, the RCMP suggest to:
- Contact your local police.
- Contact your Financial Institution and Credit Card Providers
- Contact the National Credit Bureaus
- Equifax (1-800-465-7166)
- TransUnion (1-877-525-3823)
- Report the theft or fraud to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre