Consumer Identity Theft Checklist

id checklist

Identity Theft menu | Print version (PDF, 350 KB)


Identity (ID) theft is serious. It occurs when someone steals your personal information to commit a crime. While you can't entirely control whether you will become a victim there are ways to minimize the risk.

Guard Your Personal Information

  • Never give personal information by phone, Internet or mail unless you initiate the contact.
  • Be careful about sharing personal information and don't give out more than you need to.
  • Shield your PIN, and never lend cards.
  • Immediately report missing credit or debit cards.
  • Carry only the ID you need.
  • Put other ID documents (SIN, birth certificate, passport) in a safe place.
  • Shred documents with personal information.
  • SIN is only for employment and tax reporting.
  • Ask about the security of your information at work, with businesses and charities.

Guard your Computer and its Information

  • Select a complex password of letters, numbers and symbols.
  • Install firewall, anti-virus, anti-spyware and security software - update often.
  • Don't try, don't buy and don't reply to spam or emails that ask for banking information.
  • For online transactions, look for https://, a closed lock or an unbroken key icon.
  • When disposing of hard drives, use overwrite software or destroy the drive.

With your identity, thieves can open new bank accounts, order cell phones, take out a mortgage on your property and buy cars or furniture.

Signs of ID Theft

  • Purchases not made by you appear on your monthly bills.
  • Bills arrive on accounts you don't own.
  • Collection agency calls about unknown debt.
  • Credit card/bank statements don't arrive.
  • Your credit report shows mystery debts.

What to Do

  • Call financial institutions and local police.
  • Put a fraud alert on your credit report by contacting
    Equifax: 1-800-465-71660 and
    Trans Union: 1-877-525-3823
    (Quebec residents: 1-877-713-3393).
  • To replace ID cards like health, driver's licence, SIN
    call 1-800 O-Canada.
  • Contact Canada Post if your mail is missing.
  • Keep records of steps taken to clear your name and re-establish your credit.
  • Help stop fraud. Contact the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at 1-888-495-8501 or www.antifraudcentre.ca.
anti fraud centre

For more information on Identity Theft visit
www.consumerinformation.ca

Produced by the Federal-Provincial-Territorial Consumer Measures Committee

Government of Canada  Government of Ontario  Government of Québec  Government of Nova Scotia
Government of New Brunswick  Government of Manitoba  Government of British Columbia  Government of Prince Edward Island
Government of Saskatchewan  Government of Alberta  Government of Newfoundland and Labrador  Government of the Northwest Territories
Government of Yukon  Government of Nunavut