Identity theft is the unauthorized collection and use of your personal information, usually for criminal purposes. This kind of criminal activity is on the rise. Your name, date of birth, address, SIN, credit card, and other personal identification numbers can be used to open bank and credit card accounts, redirect mail, obtain passports, establish cellular phone service, rent or purchase vehicles, equipment, or accommodation, and even secure employment.
Here are some tips you should keep in mind to avoid identity theft.
1. When revealing personal information, find out how it will be used and if it will be shared.
2. Watch your billing cycles for accuracy. Follow up if necessary.
3. Promptly remove mail from your mailbox. Reroute mail if you move.
4. Use password-protected bank, phone and credit cards and accounts. Avoid using easily available information eg. Mother’s maiden name, birth date, part or all of your SIN or phone number.
5. Carry the minimum of personal information with you. Don’t carry your SIN card, keep it safe.
6. Do not give out personal information over the phone, mail or Internet unless you initiated the contact or you know who you are dealing with.
7. Keep items with personal information in a safe place. Shred personal papers when no longer needed. Include credit card offers you receive in the mail.
8. Give your SIN number only when necessary. Use another type of indicator when possible.
9. Report lost or stolen identification ot the police and record the case number of the police report for our records.
For further information visit the
Government of Canada Privacy Commissioner's Website
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