What is identity theft?

3. Learn about fraud from identity theft

When your identity is stolen, the thief can commit many types of identity crimes or . Here are some of them:

Financial identity theft: This is what most people think of when they are asked about identity theft. The thief uses your information to access your bank accounts and take out the money or to shop with your credit cards. They may also apply for new credit cards, bank loans or a mortgage in your name.

Criminal identity theft: This is when someone who uses your stolen ID is charged with a crime or breaks the law. For example, if your driver's licence is stolen it may be sold to someone. If that person is given a traffic ticket and is able to convince the police that the driver's licence is theirs, it may be put on your driving record.

Employment/Benefits identity theft: This is when someone uses your Social Insurance Number when they are hired, or to apply for social assistance. Sometimes, this means you may have to pay taxes on money you didn't make, or that you won't be able to get the benefits that you are supposed to receive.

Medical identity theft: This is when someone uses your health card to get medical services.

Sometimes identity thieves use stolen documents to apply for and get new documents from the government. For example, they use someone's social insurance number and a fake birth certificate to get a valid driver's licence or passport.

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