(778) 668-9320 scott.dawson@verico.ca

Even though fraud prevention month is behind us, I came across this video over the weekend on YouTube and wanted to share.

What is identity theft?

The RCMP refers to identity theft as, “the preparatory stage of acquiring and collecting someone else’s personal information for criminal purposes”. It is illegal to possess another person’s identity information for criminal purposes.

Identity Theft Video

What is an identity thief looking for?

According to the RCMP identity thieves are typically looking for the following information:

  • full name, addresses & date of birth
  • Social Insurance Numbers
  • 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
  • signatures
  • passport numbers
  • Criminals then will try to use your stolen information to access your bank accounts, apply for new loans, mortgages and/or credit cards as well as use your identity for other criminal activities.

    How to find out if your identity was stolen

    It is recommended that you keep up to date on your credit bureau by checking your own credit at least once a year. You can learn more how to do this here.

    What steps can be taken to prevent identity theft?

    The RCMP offer the following tips in preventing identity theft:

  • Be wary of unsolicited e-mails, telephone calls or mail attempting to extract personal or financial information from you.
  • Remove any identity documents you don’t need in your wallet or purse and keep them in a secure place instead.
  • Check your credit reports, bank and credit card statements and report irregularities promptly.
  • Shield your personal identification number when using an ATM or a PIN pad.
  • Never write PIN numbers on the cards.
  • Shred all personal and financial documents before putting them in the recycling.
  • How are you protecting my personal information?

    As a licensed mortgage professional I take protecting clients personal information very seriously. In British Columbia all mortgage brokers and sub mortgage brokers must take steps to ensure that client information is kept safe from access by persons who are not authorized by the client to have access to their personal information. The Financial Institutions Commission (FICOM) mandates that as mortgage brokers and sub mortgage brokers we keep for seven years, all records relating to each mortgage transaction or potential mortgage transaction in which the mortgage broker is involved.

    Client personal information is protected in the following ways:

  • All computers and mobile devices are password protected.
  • Client documentation pertaining to a mortgage application is uploaded to Filogix Exchange for online document storage. Exchange is a document management solution for electronically managing all mortgage documentation and facilitating transmission to the Lender. Exchange exceeds security and regulatory standards and ensures your data is always protected.
  • Although I operate mostly paperless and paper documents files are locked in a secure filing cabinet.
  • When transporting client files all files are kept on my person and not left unattended in a vehicle.
  • Once all documentation pertaining to a mortgage application has been uploaded to secure online storage, it is properly shredded and disposed of.
  • How to report identity theft

    If you suspect you have been a victim of identity theft contact your local RCMP or Police department. You should also contact the two Canadian credit bureaus and have a fraud alert placed on your credit bureau.

    Equifax Canada
    Toll free: 1 800 465-7166
    TransUnion Canada
    Toll free: 1 877 525-3823