Protect yourself against fraud

From: Employment and Social Development Canada

Know how to recognize a scam claiming to be from Service Canada or 1 800 O-Canada

There are many sophisticated frauds and scams in Canada - with new ones invented daily. Many frauds and scams attempt to mimic real federal government services to gain access to your personal and financial information.

You should be vigilant when a person claiming to be a Service Canada or 1 800 O-Canada employee:

  • requests personal information (such as a Social Insurance Number, credit card number, bank account number or passport number); or
  • attempts to complete a financial transaction (paying taxes owed or receiving a refund).

These emails, text messages, letters and calls (including recorded messages) are fraudulent. 1 800 O-Canada is a general information service and does not make unsolicited attempts to reach Canadians to request personal or financial information.

Service Canada and 1 800 O-Canada only send information you have requested.

When in doubt, contact 1 800 O-Canada (1-800-622-6232) and ask them to verify the validity of any communication you have received (including government websites).

How to protect yourself from identity theft

  • Caller ID is a useful feature, but criminals can alter the information it displays. Never use only the displayed information to confirm the identity of the caller, whether it be an individual, a company or a government entity.
  • Be suspicious if an individual ever asks you to pay taxes or other fees via an email, a call or text message.
  • Keep your access codes, user ID, passwords and PINs secret.
  • Keep your address current with all government departments and agencies.
  • Before supporting any charity, use the CRA website to find out if the charity is registered . You should also obtain information on the way  it does business.
  • Be careful before you click on links in any email you receive. Some criminals may be using a technique known as phishing to steal your personal information when you click on the link.
  • Protect your Social Insurance Number. Do not use it as a piece of ID. Never reveal it to anyone unless you are certain the person asking for it is legally entitled  to that information.
  • Pay attention to your billing cycle and ask about any missing account statements or suspicious transactions.
  • Shred unwanted documents or store them in a secure place. Make sure that documents with your name and SIN are secure.
  • Immediately report lost or stolen credit or debit cards.
  • Carry only the ID you need.
  • Do not write down any passwords or carry them with you.
  • Ask a trusted neighbour to pick up your mail when you are away or ask the post office to place a hold on delivery.

If you think you have been a victim of fraud

You should report deceptive telemarketing to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre online or by calling 1‑888-495-8501.

If you suspect you may be the victim of fraud, contact your local police service.

Report the theft of your Social Insurance Number (SIN) by contacting Service Canada at 1-800-206-7218. For more information, see the Social Insurance Number page.

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