If your personal information is stolen, criminals can use it in elaborate schemes, including insurance fraud. Learn how to safeguard your identity.
7 Ways Identity is Stolen
- Phishing techniques or Internet hacking strategies collect your personal information.
- You respond to an unsolicited phone call or email from someone claiming to be from your credit card company.
- Someone watches while you enter your PIN at a store or ATM and then steals your wallet.
- Personal information on receipts and mail is scavenged from your recycling bin.
- Your car is broken into and identification documents from your glove-box are stolen.
- A stolen vehicle permit is used to ship a stolen car out of the country.
- Stolen insurance information is used to make false insurance claims or even take out a mortgage against your property.
What Identity Thieves Look For
These criminals seek personal information to impersonate you and access your bank accounts, secure new credit cards, make purchases and pursue other criminal activities. Safeguard documents in your home or at a secure off-site location, such as a safe-deposit box. Safeguard:
- Internet passwords
- Bank account and social insurance numbers
- Credit card information.1
Signs that your Identity has been Stolen
Victims of identity theft may receive a letter advising them that they have been approved or denied credit that they never applied for. Mail – credit card statements or other documents – suddenly go missing. Collection agencies start calling about accounts that were fraudulently opened.2
Prevent Identity Theft through your Vehicle
- Always roll up your vehicle’s windows, lock the doors, activate the security alarm and pocket the key – even if your vehicle is sitting in the driveway
- Lock your gas tank cap
- Keep your vehicle registration certificate and proof of insurance with you at all times
- Never leave valuable objects with identifying information or packages in full view; instead, put them in the trunk
- Always park your vehicle in a well-lit spot
- Be aware of suspicious people, activities or vehicles in your neighbourhood and report them to police
- Know the location of your car keys at all times.
Source: IBC Canada