Identity Theft Info & Tips
Police agencies across Canada have seen a growing trend towards the use of identity theft as a means of facilitating other crime and supporting criminal lifestyles.
Identity theft is extremely lucrative for criminals and can be as straightforward as stealing mail or vehicle insurance papers, accessing insecure personal information from the internet, or "skimming" a payment card.
Did you know?
Identity theft is one focus of the Coquitlam RCMP's Crime Reduction Strategy.
Crime analysis showed that our local prolific offenders were becoming more involved in fraud and identity theft. We responded by including these crime types in our CRS to make sure our team is focused on the individuals who cause most crime and disorder in the communities we serve. Learn more about Coquitlam RCMP’s Crime Reduction Strategy.
Auto theft and mail theft are linked to identity theft.
After cracking an identity theft ring Coquitlam RCMP investigators found that one out of three of the stolen identity documents like insurance papers, driver’s licenses and passports being used to create fraudulent ID could be traced back to vehicle theft files. Mail theft is also a popular starting point for identity theft because it is seen by criminals as a low risk/high reward activity.
Identity theft victims may not know they're victims until years after the fact.
Some cases of identity theft involve criminals emptying bank accounts or running up charges on skimmed credit cards. But a stolen identity can also be used by criminals over the long term to lease vehicles, get approval for mortgages or car loans, or apply for passports and driver's licenses. In these cases, the victim may not even be aware that their identity has been stolen unless they are rigorous about checking up on themselves.
- Monitor your accounts. Always review bank and credit card statements and report anything unusual.
- Check your status with one of Canada's credit bureaus-EquiFax or Trans Union.
- Protect your identity by guarding PINs, payment cards, computers and personal information.
- Take care of your mail. Know the delivery schedule, make arrangements for mail pick up during vacations and act immediately if mail is missing or your mail box appears to have been tampered with.
- Leave your mail untended while you are on vacation.
- Leave purses, wallets or other identity-related items like passports or computers in your vehicle. Not even "secured" in the glove box or the trunk.
- Give out personal information just because it's been requested. Make sure you understand why your information is needed, how it will be used, who will be using it and how it is being protected.
- Discard identity-related documents in recycling or regular garbage. Burn or shred them instead.
If you see something, say something!
Public safety is everyone's responsibility—and it’s easy. The best way to do your part for public safety is to get connected to your neighbourhood, pay attention to what is going on around you and report any criminal or suspicious activity to the police. Find out more about reporting criminal and suspicious activity to the Coquitlam RCMP.
Community Safety Tips
- Auto Theft Info & Tips
- Back to School Safety Information & Tips
- Business Security Info & Tips
- Frauds & Scams Info & Tips
- Halloween Safety Info and Tips
- Home Security Info & Tips
- Internet Safety Info & Tips
- Pedestrian Safety Info & Tips
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