Identity Theft | | |
Identity theft is a growing problem in Canada. The consequences to both individuals and financial institutions may be substantial.
Documents commonly lost or stolen that may contribute to identity theft include:
- Driver's licences
- Social Insurance Number cards
- Birth certificates
Criminals use this information to impersonate their victims, spending as much money as they can in as short a time as possible before moving on to their next victim. It may take years for the victim to recover from a bad credit report and to regain financial stability. In the meantime they may have difficulty writing cheques, obtaining loans, renting and even getting hired.
Criminals continue to get creative and utilize technology to steal your hard earn money and information. View the video on the latest technology available to criminals in stealing your credit card information without your card ever leaving your wallet. Although there are no current reports of this occurring in Delta, we request citizens be mindful of their environments. With the technology now available it is possible that criminals will begin to utilize it to steal credit card information.
Common suggestions to prevent identity theft:
- Do not carry SIN cards, birth certificate, passport or credit cards unless you actually need them
- Have new cheques mailed to your financial institution and pick them up there
- Pay bills electronically whenever possible. When paying by cheque, mail your envelope from a secure mailbox (at the post office, inside a commercial building, etc.) rather than a roadside collection point
- Do not disclose any personal or financial information over the phone or Internet unless you initiated the contact and know who you are dealing with. Secure websites start with https:// and have an icon (often a lock or unbroken key) at the bottom right corner of the screen
- Check your credit bureau report once a year
- Shred any documents containing personal information, particularly pre-approved credit offers
- Do not leave identification in your vehicle
- Destroy old credit cards, even if they have expired
- Upon receiving renewal or replacement identification destroy the old one