Before they can steal your identity, fraudsters need to get their hands on your personal information first. While technology has paved the way for more sophisticated techniques, good, old-fashioned theft is still a very popular method. And fraudsters will look anywhere for an opportunity, so make sure you’re protected wherever you are, whether it’s at home, in your car, or on the street.


You return home after a relaxing beach vacation, and as soon as you open the door, you sense that something is wrong. You quickly realize your house has been broken into. Your TV and furniture are gone… but at least you have insurance, right? You look around to assess the rest of the damage and discover your laptop is gone and your filing cabinet is empty. Your tax returns, mortgage contract, insurance documents, bank statements, pay slips—all your financial information is now in the hands of thieves!

How to protect and minimize risks
  • Don’t leave any messages on social networks announcing that you’ll be away—you’re only telling thieves when it’s a good time for them to break into your home.
  • Tell your neighbours when you’re going away for an extended period and ask them to pick up your mail and newspapers for you.
  • Keep all your personal documents in a locked and well-secured filing cabinet to prevent theft.

Vehicle Theft

At the end of your work day, you head to the parking lot, but as you approach your car you notice that the passenger-side window is broken and the door is ajar. Not only are your GPS and MP3 player gone, but so is the laptop you left in the trunk and the wallet (with your ID) you left in the glove box.

How to protect and minimize risks
  • Never leave valuables in your car in plain sight.
  • If possible, park your car somewhere with a security guard or in a high-traffic area, especially if you’ll be leaving it for several hours.
  • Never leave personal documents in your car. A car is not a safe place to keep documents or ID cards.
  • Only bring your financial documents with you if it’s absolutely necessary, and put them away as soon as you’re done with them.

Recovering Personal Documents

Despite all your precautions, you may still have lost some personal documents and pieces of identification that you now need to cancel and replace. This can be a long, time-consuming process.

For tips on how to make the process easier, see the Resources tab in the Victim Assistance section.

Think You Might Be A Victim?