Thompson Rivers University
Thompson Rivers University

Protect Your Identity

Your identity consists of many individual pieces of information; name, phone number, address, employee number, PINs, credit card numbers, bank account number, drivers license, passport, student number, ID badges, email and other accounts and credentials.

What is identity theft?

While there are numerous variations of the crime, identity theft is essentially the act of stealing enough of your identity information to commit fraud, purchase goods and services, or to commit other crimes in your name. The thief could apply for loans and credit cards, send and receive mail on your behalf, travel as you, change your address, sell your property, or implicate you in criminal activities. You will not be aware that debt is mounting until a collection department or the police track you down. Identity theft can take months, and sometimes even years to detect, and it can take just as long to correct the damage.

Identity theft is not a new phenomenon, however today's telecommunications and computer processing have made it more convenient for identity thieves to exploit stolen identities.

How identity thieves get your personal information?

Skilled identity thieves use a variety of methods to obtain your data, such as:

  • Stealing personal property, like wallets, purses and mail that may contain personal information
  • Rummaging through your garbage at home or work
  • Gathering information that you have posted on the Internet
  • Obtaining your financial information by masquerading as an authority figure
  • Watching over your shoulder while you enter passwords or PINs
  • Tricking you into giving them information through well crafted email or web sites posing as trusted contacts or organizations
  • Hacking into your computer at home or work and harvesting userids, passwords, contact, and any other useful information