Identity Crime

Uploaded by bankofcanadaofficial on 11.05.2012

Hi there, I'm Alex. Identity crime.
It's happening more and more at stores and banks,
over the phone, and through the mail and the internet.
Two thirds of Canadians have been hit
by ID crime at some time.
Along with drug related crimes,
fraud is now a top revenue source for organized crime.
It's a huge problem with billions of dollars
in losses every year.
Many of these losses begin with identity theft-
stealing personal information for criminal purposes.
Cloaked in your stolen identity,
a fraudster can cash your cheques,
raid your bank account, use your credit cards
and even load a big mortgage on your house.
It can be devastating.
Oh, eleven and thirteen.
It's been that long.
So great to bump into you.
Yeah, it's been a long time.
Now, you just started to say you've been through
a lot these past few months.
Ohhh... what an ordeal.
I can't stand having to prove who I am all the time.
What do you mean?
We've been members at Super Price for years,
so it didn't seem unusual to us to receive an email
from them about a contest.
I entered, and two weeks later I got a message saying
I was one of ten finalists for a $50,000 draw.
To qualify I had to provide my account and
credit card information.
What a mistake that was.
What happened?
It turns out the whole contest was a scam and
had nothing to do with Super Price at all.
And I didn't find out until the end of the month
when we got our statements.
And by then our bank account was nearly empty
and our credit card was over the limit!
Joanne is a victim of identity crime.
The scam involved phishing-a ploy that lures
people into providing their personal information.
Masquerading as a real business,
these scams can truly look genuine.
But if that wasn't enough, after they maxed out our
credit card and drained our bank account,
someone posed as me, put a second mortgage on our
house, and then they ripped off all our RRSPs.
Identity fraud can tear your life apart.
Unfortunately, with just a few key pieces
of personal information and a lot of deception,
criminals can drive you into bankruptcy,
and ruin relationships and your reputation.
You may never fully recover.
Jo, you can't be so hard on yourself.
These scammers are so slick.
While it's nothing like what you've been through,
I've been hit, too.
One time I was emailed a photo that I thought
was from a good friend of mine.
When I opened it, it hijacked my email program.
Everything disappeared-months of
private messages, gone!
And then the same spam was sent to everyone
on my contact list!
Wow. Have you had any problems because of it?
Nothing yet, but I'm worried.
And now all those social-networking sites
can be a problem, too.
I tell my kids they have to know who they are talking to,
and set their privacy settings to the highest level
so they can limit the amount of information they're sharing.
And I keep reminding my guys that once they've
posted a message or a photo,
count on it to last forever in cyberspace.
It can come back to haunt you.
Identity crime.
So what can we do to avoid it?
First, watch out for theft.
Stolen purses, wallets, cell phones,
laptops and your mail can contain a gold mine of
information for criminals.
If possible, install a mail slot or use a locked box.
Shred personal documents before throwing them away.
Don't carry identity documents you don't need,
such as your SIN card, birth certificate or passport.
Keep them in a safe place.
Routinely check your credit card
and bank statements for unauthorized transactions.
Once a year get a credit report from one of the
national credit bureaus: Equifax or TransUnion.
Have a healthy skepticism.
Don't be tricked by offers of easy money,
claims your account has been compromised,
or threats of legal action.
And remember, financial institutions will never ever
use the internet to ask for account numbers or passwords.
If you receive something you're not sure of, don't open it.
Reduce the threat of hacking by installing
a firewall, up-to-date spyware, email filters,
and anti-virus software.
If you make online purchases,
deal with reputable businesses and verify
their contact information.
When making a transaction, check to see that
the web address begins with "https."
The "s" signifies a secure page.
If you are the victim of identify fraud,
or an attempt has been made,
report it to your local police.
Advise your bank and credit card companies
and ask them to put a hold on your accounts.
Next, contact one of the national credit bureaus
to place a fraud alert on your credit file.
They will be able to tell you if there has been any
new attempt for credit in your name.
If you want more information on fraud,
be sure to visit the Canadian Anti-Fraud
Centre's web site at "".
Identity crime is not likely to disappear.
The rewards for criminals are too lucrative.
But we can do a lot to protect ourselves by being
vigilant, following a few security measures,
and reporting all cases.
Together, we can be part of the solution
in reducing fraud for all Canadians.