The NT RCMP is warning NWT residents of an increase in identity theft fraud reported to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre. While there are no specific numbers being released for the NWT, the increase has been noticed in all of the provinces and territories.

Fraudsters are using stolen personal information to apply for government benefits, credits cards, bank accounts, cell phone accounts or even take over social media and email accounts.

Be extra vigilant if you notice any of this:

  • Missing bills and other mail.
  • Suspicious activity on your bank or credit card statements.
  • Letters stating that you have been approved or declined credit that you did not apply for.
  • Unauthorized applications or accounts on your credit report.
  • Creditor or collection agency calls about an application or account you do not have.
  • Bills from service providers that you do not use.
  • Information that has been compromised when you are notified of a database breach.

Take action:

  • Reject unsolicited emails, phone calls or mail asking for personal or financial information.
  • Be extra careful about giving out your social insurance number (SIN). It`s virtually a key to your identity and credit reports.
  • Do not reply to or click on links in any email that looks suspicious. Never open an attachment from spam or sender not known to you.
  • Never use automatic login features that save your username and password. Take the time to re-enter your password each time.
  • Consider carefully what you’re putting out there through email and social networking sites.
  • Choose strong passwords.
  • Check your credit report at least once a year. To get a free copy of your report, contact: Equifax Canada and TransUnion Canada.

Report:

  • A lost or stolen wallet.
  • Compromised government identification to the affected government agency.
  • Re-route mail requests to Canada Post.
  • Suspicious bank account activity to your financial institution.
  • Unauthorized activity on your credit report to the credit bureaus, Equifax & TransUnion.
  • Loss of account access to the appropriate company.

If you think you or someone you know has been a victim of fraud, please contact the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at 1-888-495-8501. NT RCMP also encourage to report to your local RCMP detachment.

Learn about fraud by visiting: antifraudcentre-centreantifraude.ca