Identity Theft

ID Theft

Identity theft is when another person uses your personal information without your knowledge or consent for fraud or theft. Phishing and are both examples of identity theft. Personal information such as your name, address, phone numbers, social insurance numbers, driver's license numbers, credit card, banking information, bank cards, calling cards, birth certificates and passports can help an identity thieve impersonate you. Identity theft in British Columbia rose 75% last year, totaling more that $1.8 million from 1,829 victims.

Important documents may be stolen from your mail or garbage, or they may find out your personal information in other ways, without your knowledge. To prevent this, dispose of documents containing personal information (such as account statements) by shredding the documents.

Once the information has been stolen, your identity could be used to conduct spending sprees, open bank accounts, redirect mail, or apply for loans, credit cards, and social benefits.

Signs you may be a victim:

  • Your paper statement, online account summary or passbook lists transactions that you have not performed or authorized.
  • A creditor informs you that an application for credit was received with your name and address, which you did not submit.
  • You receive credit card statements or other bills in your name that do not belong to you.
  • You are not receiving legitimate credit card or bank account statements or you notice that not all of your mail is delivered.
  • A collection agency contacts you to inform you that they are collecting for a defaulted account established with your identity and you never opened the account.