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Identity Theft

Impersonation involves stealing or misappropriating someone's identity, living or dead, for the purposes of acquiring goods or some other advantage or cheating someone.

Impersonation is often used to commit fraud.

For example:

  • A transaction made using information from a credit card
  • Withdrawal of money using a stolen debit card
  • Paying with a forged cheque

Prevention tips

  • Sign your credit cards as soon as you receive them.
  • Never lend your credit cards.
  • In case of loss, theft or irregularities on your monthly credit card statement, immediately cancel all credit cards with the issuing institutions.
  • Destroy any document with your personal information on or within it, such as receipts, invoices, official correspondence from the government or financial institutions which you do not need anymore, using an shredder or by cross cutting. Do not throw them in publicly accessible garbage bins.
  • Never give personal information such as your social insurance number, date of birth or credit card numbers over the phone unless you initiated the contact.
  • Choose a PIN that is hard to guess and do not write it down anywhere.

Advice for retailers

Please refer to the credit card fraud prevention information.

To verify a customer's identity:

  • Ask for photo ID: driver's licence, healthcare card, etc.
  • Check the authenticity of the ID cards by comparing them with your own.
  • Take note of the physical description of the customer on their driver's licence: it should match the customer's appearance.
  • Contact the national credit reporting agencies (Equifax or TransUnion Canada) to find out whether the card you have been given is authentic.
  • Phone the customer's home or office to find out whether they're there.
  • If you think you are dealing with a fraudster, phone 911 immediately.