- Intentional deception resulting in injury, harm and/or loss to another person
- Imposter: a person who makes deceitful pretenses
- Deception made for personal gain
- Fraudulent conversion and obtaining money or property by false pretenses
- Someone opening credit in your name without your explicit consent or approval
How can I tell if I'm a victim of identity theft?
Order a consumer inquiry of your credit report from Equifax Canada or Trans Union (contact information below)
Review the reports carefully
- Look for inquiries from companies that you haven’t requested products or credit
- Look for inconsistencies in your personal information (address, employment, debts, judgments or collections accounts)
Stay alert for other signs of identity theft or mortgage fraud, like:
- Failing to receive bills or other mail. Follow up with creditors if your bills don't arrive on time. A missing bill could mean an identity thief has taken over your account and changed your billing address to cover their tracks.
- Receiving credit cards that you didn't apply for.
- Failure to receive credit cards you did apply for
- Being denied credit, or being offered less favorable credit terms, like a high interest rate, for no apparent reason.
- Getting calls or letters from debt collectors or businesses about merchandise or services you didn't buy.
- Being approached with an offer to make quick money in real estate
- Being offered money to use your name and credit information to apply for a mortgage or other credit
Identity thieves can wreak havoc on your personal finances. However, there are things you can do to take control of the situation.
- If an identity thief
steals your mail to try to get new credit cards, bank and credit card statements, pre-approved credit offers and tax information or falsified change-of-address forms, the person has committed a crime. Report it to your Phonebusters, local postal inspector and the credit reporting bureaus (contact information below). If an identity thief has changed the billing address on an existing credit card account, close the account. When you open a new account, ask that a password be used before any inquiries or changes can be made on the account. Avoid using easily available information like your mother's maiden name, your birth date, the last four digits of your SIN or your phone number, or a series of consecutive numbers. Avoid using the same information and numbers when you create a Personal Identification Number (PIN). If you believe an identity thief may have accessed your bank accounts, chequing account or ATM card, close the accounts immediately. When you open new accounts, insist on password-only access. If your cheques have been stolen or misused, stop payment. If your ATM card has been lost, stolen or otherwise compromised, cancel the card and get another with a new PIN. If an identity thief has established new phone or wireless service in your name and is making unauthorized calls that appear to come from - and are billed to - your cell phone, contact your service provider immediately to cancel the account and calling card. Get new accounts and new PINs. Do the same thing if someone is using your calling card and PIN. If you suspect that someone is obtaining a fraudulent mortgage on your property, obtain the title information from your provincial or local government. You can also request to have a fraud alert placed on the title in some offices.