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Understanding how thieves can gain access to your identity may help you prevent Identity fraud. Here are just a few of the ways that identity fraud occurs.
Identity thieves steal pre-approved credit card offers, bank and credit card statements and other documents containing your personal information from your mailbox.
You Were Moved
Criminals file a change of address form with the Post Office and divert your mail to another location to steal your personal information.
Bogus Charitable Appeals
A person calls you, claims to be affiliated with a reputable charity, and requests a donation for a worthy cause. They ask for your credit card and other personal information.
A bank or finance company calls and asks if you want to refinance your home to get a great rate. You're asked some innocent questions to get you used to answering and then they ask for your Social Insurance Number so they can check your credit in order to get you the "most favorable refinance rate."
Phishing by E-mail
You get an e-mail from your Internet Service Provider (ISP) offering to upgrade your service. The e-mail has a link to a web site that looks and feels exactly like those your ISP uses. You're asked to enter your personal information to receive the upgraded service.
You conscientiously place your trash by the curb the night before pickup. Identity thieves posing as people out for an evening stroll go through your trash and remove documents with your personal information.
Domestic help or contractors enter your home with your permission and collect information from documents you've left out and unsecured.
Thieves steal bill payments you've deposited in an outside mailbox, and learn your name, address, account numbers and even how you sign your checks. Then they open a new account elsewhere and have statements sent to another address.
Thieves watch from a nearby location as you punch your telephone calling card or credit card information into a telephone or computer. For more information to help you deter, detect and defend against Identity Theft visit the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada’s website.