About identity theft

Identity Plus FAQ
Identity theft is a crime that occurs when someone invades your life, takes pieces of your personal identifying information and assumes it as his or her own, possibly ruining your financial reputation as well as your good name. Identity theft is a rather broad category encompassing any number of privacy crimes, including theft of a Social Insurance Number, credit card number, debit card, phone card or other illegal assumption of identity or obtaining false credit in another person’s name.

What’s the big motive? Fraud.

Typically, identity thieves are looking for a quick transaction: the opportunity to buy merchandise or obtain cash without being identified. This generally entails using your identity and/or existing credit to purchase goods that they can sell for cash or to obtain services (such as car rental) in your name.

An experienced identity thief can turn an ordinary transaction into an extraordinary act of fraud.  That’s why all consumers are urged to exercise extreme caution when completing any financial transaction or providing personal information. Don’t give out any personal information on the phone, through the mail or over the Internet, unless you know with whom you’re dealing. Identity thieves have been known to pose as representatives of financial institutions or government agencies just to get you to reveal critical personal information such as your account numbers or Social Insurance Number.

Guard personal information
Never reveal more than the required information and take extra care not to share your Social Insurance Number unless it is absolutely necessary. Your employer and financial institutions need it for reporting purposes. Other businesses simply use it as a matter of general record keeping. Think twice before divulging your number to a business you don’t believe has a real need for it. The more sources that have your personal information, the greater your risk of being victimized.

More on identity theft
A Guide to Sharing Your SIN
How Your Identity May Be Stolen
Knowing The Signs and Steps To Follow If You Have Become A Victim
Tips to Minimize Risk
Other Common Questions