Identity Protection - Learn How PayPal Canada Protects You

Your Guide to Identity Protection

What Is Identity Theft?

Identity Theft is when someone steals your personal or financial information and uses it to open accounts and make unauthorized transactions in your name. According to the Federal Trade Commission, it's one of the fastest growing crimes in the world today, so the more you know about it the better.

Identity theft is quite difficult to undo, and repairing your financial reputation can be a frustrating, expensive, and time-consuming process. That's why prevention is the very best protection there is. Your personal information is extremely valuable to you (and to identity thieves) so you should always treat it with care.

The best way to combat these criminals is to become familiar with the tricks of their trade. Take the time to learn how to recognize email scams, identify secure websites, and create passwords that are stronger than a criminal's will to break them.

If you're looking for additional resources and information on identity theft, visit to some of our partner sites.

Preventing Identity Theft

Your credit cards, social insurance number, and bank account numbers can be a lot more valuable than your money. So you need to protect them.

5 Keys to Preventing Identity Theft

1. Safeguard your information, both online and offline

Create secure passwords

Keeping your password safe is the most powerful deterrent to identity theft. Mix upper and lowercase letters with symbols, and create unique passwords for each of your accounts.

Shred important documents

A recent study suggests that identity thieves rummaging through your garbage or breaking into your mailbox may pose an even greater threat than online theft.

Carry only what you need

It's been estimated that 14% of all identity theft results from stolen wallets, cheque books, and credit cards. That's a good reason to leave your social insurance card and seldom-used credit cards at home in a safe place.

2. If someone calls you or sends you an email requesting sensitive information, DO NOT give it to them

Watch out for phishing

Fake "phishing" emails appear to be from legitimate companies, but they're actually sent by potential identity thieves. They'll warn you of account problems or other urgent issues in an attempt to trick you into providing your personal information.

Recognize spoof websites

These are fake websites that mimic popular companies' sites. They are linked with phishing emails, and they attempt to solicit your user name and password or other account information.

Determine whether a PayPal email is genuine

PayPal will never request your password or financial information in an email, or ask you to download attachments. Only share your account information once you've logged in to directly from your browser.

Hold the phone

Beware of unsolicited phone callers claiming to be from customer service centres who request your sensitive personal information. Simply hang up and call the number on the company's real website if you want to be absolutely sure.

3. Use secure methods of payment

Bad cheques

When handled with care, cheques can be safe. However, it's worth keeping in mind that when you hand a stranger a cheque, you're also giving them your bank name, account number, address, and signature.

Online payments are safer

When using online payment systems like PayPal, your transaction is as secure as it can be. Another important benefit is that the merchant you're buying from will never see your credit card or bank account numbers.

4. Keep your computer protected

Update your browser and security programs

Install your operating system's security patches when they become available, and be sure you're running the latest browser. Make sure your anti-phishing and anti-virus filters are enabled, and consider setting up a firewall to prevent anyone from hacking into your network or computer.

5. Always be vigilant

Report any suspicious activity

Immediately report anything out of the ordinary-from phishing to fake websites to unauthorized account activity. According to the Federal Trade Commission, you're less likely to be seriously impacted by identity theft if you discover and report the incident within six months of its occurrence.

Monitor your accounts frequently

Log in to your PayPal account and check your credit card and bank accounts on a regular basis to look for unfamiliar transactions.

Fighting Identity Theft

If you suspect that someone has stolen your personal information, it's critical to act as quickly as possible to minimize potential harm to your financial reputation.

Here's what you need to do:

1. Contact Your Financial Institutions Immediately
Call PayPal

If you suspect your PayPal account has been compromised, contact us immediately.

Call your banks and credit card companies

Ask for the fraud departments, explain your situation, and ask them what they can do to help.

File a complaint

Before contacting your financial institutions, file an identity theft complaint to the Identity Theft Data Clearinghouse developed by the Federal Trade Commission to handle identity theft complaints. Contact the Human Resources Development Canada (HRDC) if someone has used your Social Insurance Number to apply for government services. This will help you deal with any questions from your banks and credit card companies.

Know your rights

Public Safety Canada offers a summary of your rights, so check it out.

2. Report the Incident to Law Enforcement
Law Enforcement
File a crime report

Call the police and file a report right away. This will help your credibility when you're speaking with the banks and credit card companies.

3. Place a Fraud Alert on Your Credit
Contact the two major credit bureaus

With a fraud alert on your credit, banks and credit card companies will have to contact you before opening any new accounts in your name.

Equifax: 1-800-465-7166;; Consumer Relations Department, Box 190 Jean Talon Station, Montreal, Quebec H1S2Z2

TransUnion: 1-800-663-9980-7289 (Outside Quebec) or 1-877-713-3393 (Quebec residents only);; Fraud Victim Assistance Department, P.O. Box 338, LCD1, Hamilton, ON L8L 7W2 (Outside Quebec); Centre De Relations Aux Consommateurs TransUnion, 1 Place Laval Ouest, Suite 370, Laval, Quebec H7N 1A1 (Quebec residents only)

4. Never let your guard down
Prevent a repeat offense

Identity theft can strike twice-victims have to be even more careful once an incident has occurred.

Be careful

It's critical that you check your account activity and balances regularly after an identity theft has occurred. You should also order a credit report every now and then to make sure nothing's out of order. Canadians can get a free credit report from