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IDENTITY THEFT

Identity theft is a crime in which an impostor obtains key pieces of your personal information such as Social Insurance or driver’s license numbers, in order to impersonate you. The information can be used to obtain credit, merchandise, etc. in your name, or to provide the thief with false credentials. In addition to running up debt, an impostor might provide false identification to police, creating a criminal record or leaving outstanding arrest warrants for the person whose identity has been stolen.

Identity theft is categorized in two ways: true name and account takeover.

True name identity theft means that the thief will use personal information to open new accounts such as credit cards, establish cellular phone service, or bank ccounts in order to obtain blank checks.

Account takeover identity theft means the theif uses personal information to gain access to the person’s existing accounts. Typically, the thief will change the mailing address on an account and run up a huge bill before the person whose identity has been stolen realizes there is a problem. The Internet has made it easier for an identity thief to use the information they’ve stolen because transactions can be made without any personal interaction.

Information Sought

Identity thieves are looking for the following information:

  • full name
  • date of birth
  • Social Insurance Numbers
  • full address
  • mother’s maiden name
  • username and password for online services
  • driver’s license number
  • personal identification numbers (PIN)
  • credit card information (numbers, expiry dates and the last three digits printed on the signature panel)
  • bank account numbers
  • signature
  • passport number

The new legislation on identity theft provides a complete list of identity documents.

The new section 402.1 of the Criminal Code lists the definition and examples of identity information.

What Your Information Could be Used For

Criminals can use your stolen or reproduced personal or financial information to:

  • access your bank accounts
  • open new bank accounts
  • transfer bank balances
  • apply for loans, credit cards and other goods and services
  • make purchases
  • hide their criminal activities
  • obtain passports or receive government benefits

Using identity theft to facilitate organized criminal and terrorist activities also appears to be a growing trend.

How Can You Find Out if Your Identity was Stolen

The best way to find out is to monitor your hard copy or on-line financial accounts frequently and to check your credit report regularly for any unusual activities. If you receive calls from collection agencies about unfamiliar accounts, or if you applied for credit and were unexpectedly turned down, you should investigate further.

Report It

If you suspect or know that you are a victim of identity theft or fraud, or if you unwittingly provided personal information or financial information:

Step 1 – Contact your local police force and file a report.
Step 2 – Contact your bank/financial institution and credit card company
Step 3 – Contact the two national credit bureaus and place a fraud alert on your credit reports.

Stop It

Prevention is the best way to deal with this crime:

  • Identity theft can occur over the Internet or telephone, or via fax or regular mail. Therefore, be particularly wary of unsolicited e-mails, telephone calls or mail attempting to extract personal or financial information from you.
  • Ask yourself if you really need all of the identity documents you carry in your wallet or purse. Remove any you don’t need and keep them in a secure place instead.
  • Periodically check your credit reports, bank and credit card statements and report any irregularities promptly to the relevant financial institution and to the credit bureaus.
  • During transactions, it’s safer to swipe your cards yourself than it is to allow a cashier to do it for you. If you must hand over your card, never lose sight of it.
  • Always shield your personal identification number when using an ATM or a PIN pad.
  • Memorize all personal identification numbers for payment cards and telephone calling cards. Never write them on the cards.
  • Familiarize yourself with billing cycles for your credit and debit cards.
  • Trash bins are a goldmine for identity thieves. Make sure you shred personal and financial documents before putting them in the garbage.
  • When you change your address, make sure you notify the post office and all relevant financial institutions (your bank and credit card companies).

How to Choose a Private Investigator

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Investigation Hotline
4.9
Jennifer Schneider
2 weeks
A serious error in judgment on my behalf has put me at risk of ID theft. During a phone call I supplied personal info to someone who I believed was with Revenue Canada. Immediately after I realized I had fallen for the CRA scam. Shame on me!  Since the incident I've been frantically taking steps to fend off the dire repercussions that such a mistake can have. This has included: Filing a police report, Filing a report with the Canada Anti Fraud center, Adding flags to my bank accounts, Putting up Fraud alerts on the 2 main credit bureau's. I've even purchased some Identity theft tracker software to monitor my info. I contacted Investigation hotline to see if there was any additional measures I could take. The agent applauded me on the steps I had already taken. They also had knowledge about the CRA phone scam itself that helped settle my nerves somewhat. With all the fear and anxiety I've been enduring for the last while it was assuring to speak with someone familiar with the actual risk potential.
Jennifer Schneider
1 month
I called investigation hotline after I provided somebody a home renovation and they refused to pay, I tried to bring them to court- hired a lawyer and found out I was given false information on the contract. After speaking with Mitch and explaining my situation I felt that he sincerely cared about my case and was quick to find out the information I needed. Within a couple of days, he had all the information I needed. I could not thank Mitch enough. I would highly recommend investigation hotline to anybody as I feel they are experts in the field and act fast and work efficiently. I felt that Mitch had a deep understanding of what I was going through and was empathic and understanding. I could not thank him enough and will be using this service again if needed. Kaitie S
Jennifer Schneider
1 month
I needed help with fining out some information to bring somebody to court. Within a day I had everything I needed to fill out the court papers. I could not thank Mitch and his team enough. I am so glad I stumbled across investigation hotline. I highly recommend contacting Mitch if your looking for this type of service.
Jennifer Schneider
2 months
Apr 02, 2018 I needed an investigator on Sunday Easter Week End. No one cared about the situation except this Company. The investigator was dispatched to the location without minutes. did not care about the Money to be prepaid or secured. The investigator took it personal. He felt of my situation and Specially when it came to my kids issues. My Ex-wife was cheating in a hotel north east of Toronto. He Located her within 1/2 Hour. This a true story; I never thought Investigator cared about the situation but the money.. This company did not care about the money, they finished the job, send me the invoice and i Paid him more than what he asked for. Sometimes money does not mean any thing to some one wants to get a load off his back and find the truth about his wife,,,, FOR SURE THIS COMPANY TOOK A HUGE LOAD OFF MY BACK. THANK YOU SO MUCH JOE MICHIGAN
Jennifer Schneider
6 months
All I can say is that the team at Hotline Investigation is absolutely amazing. They are genuine and care about helping you out in anyway they can! They do their best to ensure the best results. I cannot thank them enough for fixing my situation! The Investigation Hotline is the best choice.
Jennifer Schneider
8 months
Mitchell and his team of Investigators are an really extraordinary professionals. In less than 5 hours after first discussing with Mitchell about my case, Mitchell and his team had solved my case and I got the information I've been searching for some time. I want to emphasize that I am from Serbia and the person who I try found lives in Canada. I really surprised with Mitchell and his team how they quickly my case was solved. I'm really grateful to Mitchell and his team and I do not know what to add yet, thank you, thank you and guys are the best.
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