**** RCMP Media Release
In 2020, Canadians reported over 16,958 identity fraud cases to Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.
Fraudsters will get information through unsolicited emails, text, phone calls, mail, bank statements etc.
➡️ Never share information through unsolicited messages/calls.
➡️ Confirm who you’re speaking with by researching them/the business on the internet.
➡️ Always shred old documents that contain personal information.
Identity theft and fraud
What is identity theft?
Identity theft refers to criminals stealing someone else’s personal information for criminal purposes. Identity theft can be:
- unsophisticated, such as dumpster diving and mail theft
- more elaborate, such as phishing or database breaches
Computer spywares and viruses also help thieves steal personal information.
What is identity fraud?
Identity fraud happens when criminals use stolen personal information. It is often used to commit another crime.
Criminals can use your stolen or reproduced information to:
- access your computer/email
- access your bank accounts
- open new bank accounts
- transfer bank balances
- apply for loans and credit cards
- buy goods and services
- hide their criminal activities
- get passports or receive government benefits
Actions you can take to protect yourself
- be wary of unsolicited e-mails, text messages, telephone calls or mail asking you for personal or financial information
- check your credit reports, bank and credit card statements and report any irregularities
- shred personal and financial documents before putting them in the garbage
- retrieve your mail on a regular basis to limit possible mail theft
- when you move, notify the post office and your relevant financial institutions and service providers