News and Updates

Protect yourself against identity theft

Canadians are feeling more vulnerable to fraudsters and identity theft than ever before. In 2022, the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre (CAFC) observed approximately $531 million in losses to fraud1. In 2023, this number increased to $554 million1.
Although the digital world has benefits, Canadians' increasing participation also creates more opportunities for fraudsters to target potential victims. Statistics Canada found that 17% of the Canadian population (or one in six people) reported being a victim of fraud2. That’s why Fraud Prevention Month (March) is so important. As an annual campaign, it seeks to help you recognize, reject, and report fraud, according to the Government of Canada.
What is identity theft?
Identity theft is just what it sounds like; it involves stealing or misusing someone else's personal information, such as their name, address, birthdate, account information, and social insurance number (SIN) for criminal purposes3. Techniques can range from unsophisticated, such as dumpster diving and mail theft, to more elaborate, such as phishing or data breaches.
Fraudsters often use your stolen or reproduced personal information to commit another crime. They can use your information to4:

  • Access your email or computer

  • Access your bank accounts

  • Open new bank accounts

  • Transfer bank balances

  • Apply for loans and credit cards

  • Buy goods and services

  • Obtain passports or receive benefits

What are some threats to my identity?

  • A fraudster calls, texts, or emails you or uses social media to trick you into clicking a malicious link, downloading malware, or sharing personal information.


  • A fraudster uses synthetic media (e.g., audio, photos, or videos) to impersonate you as a form of authentication or misrepresentation to steal information or spread misinformation.

Social Engineering:

  • A fraudster uses a more personalized phishing attack to target you specifically.

  • Social engineering attacks often include details about you or your organization to trick you into sharing more personal information.

Third-party Data Breaches:

  • A fraudster compromises a vendor’s network and data, putting external networks and information (e.g., customer information) handled by the vendor at risk. The compromised information may be used to access other accounts to spread the attack further.

How can I avoid becoming a target for identity theft?

  • Do not use your SIN as identification; never reveal it to anyone unless you’re confident they are legally entitled to that information.

  • Carry only the ID you need.

  • Immediately report lost or stolen credit or debit cards.

  • Review your accounts regularly and monitor them for suspicious activity.

  • Shred documents containing personal information before throwing them away.

  • Be sure to notify the post office, financial institutions, and service providers when you move.

  • Do not write down any passwords or carry them with you.

  • Install internet security software to protect your computer and its information.

  • Be wary of unsolicited calls, texts, or emails asking for personal information.

  • Be extremely cautious when you provide personal information over the internet, especially on social networking platforms.

Unfortunately, identity theft happens, despite our best efforts to prevent it. If you're a victim of identity theft, report it to the CAFC, your local police, and both credit bureaus, Equifax and TransUnion. If you suspect your personal information has been compromised and your tax information is at risk, contact the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). In the meantime, remain calm and gather everything about the incident, including documents, receipts, and copies of emails/texts.
While coverage can vary, some insurance carriers offer additional optional coverage for identity theft and the costs incurred in relation to restoring your identity, such as correspondence, notarizing documents, lost income, and legal fees. Others also provide 24-hour hotlines for assistance from qualified professionals to support you through a cyber loss.
If you're a current OTIP policyholder, contact us at 1-888-494-0090 to review your existing home insurance policy and discuss additional identity theft coverage. If you’re not insured with OTIP and are shopping for home insurance, call us at 1-888-892-4935 to get a quote and receive a $20 gift card of your choice!

  1. Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre

  2. Statistics Canada – Self-reported fraud in Canada, 2019

  3. Government of Canada – Protect Yourself Against Identity Theft

  4. Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre – Identity theft and fraud

  News and Updates