4. Be aware of suspicious calls

How do I protect myself from identity theft?
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4. Be aware of suspicious calls

Do not give personal information over the phone to anyone you are not sure about.

Be suspicious of any calls that ask for your address, Social Insurance Number, bank account, or credit card numbers. Banks and government agencies will never call you to ask for this information.

If someone calls you and says they are from a bank or government agency and asks for personal information, they are probably an identity thief.

Look for that bank, agency or company’s official phone number in your phone book or through their official website. Ask them about the call. You can usually find their official website through a search engine.

Do not share any personal information over the phone unless you were the one who made the call.

Collection agencies

Collection agencies have to send you a written notice before they can start calling you. If you get calls from a collection agency, but have not received a written notice, ask them to send you a notice.

Do not give the caller your address or other personal information. If they are a real collection agency, they should already have your information from a creditor.

Relatives needing help

If you get a phone call from someone who says they are a friend or relative asking for help, make sure they are really who they say they are. Ask them a question that only your relative or friend would be able to answer correctly.

Even if the call seems real, you can suggest other ways to help where you don’t have to send money or give personal information. For example, you can offer to buy a plane or train ticket in their name. Or you can offer to get help by calling the police in the city where the caller claims to be.

If the call sounds suspicious, just hang up the phone.

You May Also Need

Government of Canada
Consumer Measures Committee
Reviewed: December 31, 2016

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