Current Bulletin - 0503: Identity Theft
What are You Doing to Protect Yourself?
Identity theft has become a major problem, and the possibility of becoming a victim is increasing.
Below are some suggestions to help you protect yourself.
The next time you order cheques, consider having only your
initials (not your first name) put on them. If someone takes your chequebook, they will not know whether you sign
with your initials or your first name. Your bank however will know how you sign your cheques.
When writing cheques to pay a credit card account, put just the last four numbers of your
account number on it. The credit card company knows the rest of it. Anyone handling the cheque will not have
ccess to the full number.
Do not print any more personal information than you must on the cheque, i.e. your social insurance number.
When using your credit card, always check to ensure that you received your
card back and not someone else's card. Beware of someone using their cell phone near your credit card.
Cell phones have cameras in them now.
Copy everything in your wallet, including both sides of each license, credit
card, memberships and your health card. If your wallet is lost or stolen you will know what you had
in your wallet and can react quickly to preserve your identity. Keep the copies in a safe place which is accessible in
Make a copy of your entire passport and consider carrying the copy when you
travel. Keep a second copy in a safe place.
This term describes a method of fraudulently assuming the identity of a legitimate business in order to steal your personal information. The internet is the most commonly used forum, but the phone can be used also.
Phishing is the request by a fraudster for you to confirm online profiles, personal and financial information. Do not respond to internet requests for personal information. Be wary of telephone requests for personal information. Your bank and other
financial institutions that you deal with already have that information. They do not generally need to confirm it. If they do, they can send a request in writing.
Call the toll free numbers on the back of your credit cards and report the loss.
File a police report immediately in the jurisdiction where you experienced the loss. If your credibility is questioned, this will show that you were diligent.
Call national credit card reporting companies (Equifax, and Trans Union of Canada) immediately and place a fraud alert on your name and social insurance number. The alert shows that your credit information was lost or stolen. If an application is made for new credit, you should be phoned to authorize the new credit. Keep the phone numbers below with your copies of your identity documents.
Consider cancelling accounts or changing your password or PIN on any account that may be compromised.
Below are 5 numbers to call to report the loss or theft of your credit and identity documents:
1-800-206-7218 and press 3 or SIN information, or if dialing from Canada, (506) 548-7961
Act quickly in the event of a loss.