How much damage can the theft of your personal identity do?

News 100 redBy Staff

May 15, 2017

BURLINGTON, ON

On Saturday June 3rd, you will be able to have your personal sensitive documents shred at the Crime stoppers event.  The shredding truck will be at the parking lot on the east side of Brant at Ghent from 9:30 am to 2:30 pm.

How much damage can the theft of your personal identity do?

An Ontario teacher is working to clear her name and her credit score, after someone appears to have used her identity to open credit cards, take out a loan and purchase a luxury SUV.

Tara Douglas arrived home from her teaching job in Bradford, about 65 kilometres north of Toronto, on April 28 to find a bill waiting for her for the Highway 407 toll expressway.

The bill was for trips she never took in a car she never bought.

“I saw the licence plate did not belong to me and the trips that were on this 407 bill I had never taken,” Douglas told CBC Radio’s Metro Morning.

She called the number on the bill and was told she had to deal with the Ministry of Transportation. The next day, Douglas went to a Service Ontario location to figure out what was going on.

After receiving a strange bill, Tara Douglas began digging and discovered that her identity had been stolen.
A staffer there pulled up her information and told Douglas that a 2012 black Range Rover was registered to her driver’s licence, in addition to her own car.

“That’s kind of when I really started to freak out because this obviously isn’t my car,” she said.
The MTO staffer removed the Range Rover from her licence and directed her to police in Barrie. Police listened to the details of her case and launched an investigation. On Tuesday, the force issued a news release with a picture of a suspect standing in front of the SUV.

“The news release says the Range Rover has been registered to Douglas since March 31 after being purchased at a dealership in Woodbridge, another community north of Toronto.

“The dealership was contacted and confirmed the female who purchased the vehicle did so with a valid driver’s licence and proper identification,” the release says.

Police had advised Douglas to contact her bank, as well as credit reporting agencies Equifax and TransUnion, to see what else may have been done in her name. While her personal bank information was fine, the credit bureaus told her that someone had taken out numerous credit cards in her name, ringing up between $1,000 and $5,000 in charges. Her address was also listed as being in North York, which isn’t true. Two cellphone numbers that weren’t Douglas’s were also registered to her.

Other car purchases were also listed on her credit report, and police told her that a $60,000 loan had also been taken out in her name.

After learning about the extent of the identity theft, Douglas has done everything she could to clean up her credit report and protect herself.

While she doesn’t yet know how someone managed to get her personal information, police did tell her that the person allegedly buying cars and obtaining credit in her name had obtained her social insurance number.

She’s now working hard to clean up her credit report, sending the credit bureaus various documents to prove her side of the story. She has also contacted Canada Post to ensure her mail wasn’t being diverted to the suspect’s address.

“I think I’ve covered all my bases,” she said. She’s also unsubscribed from email lists she doesn’t want to be on, has told her banks to only communicate with her by phone and boosted the privacy settings on her social media accounts.

“I don’t know what else I can do at this point, but I want this to be resolved and go away and and get back to what my life was and who I am,” she said.

How did someone get enough information on Tara Douglas to be able to open up a bank account, get a bank loan, buy a car and get credit cards,  She may never know.  The thieves may have gone though her garbage and found a bank statement – that would be more than enough to get them started.

On Saturday June 3rd, you will be able to have your personal sensitive documents shred at the Crime stoppers event.  The shredding truck will be at the parking lot on the east side of Brant at Ghent from 9:30 am to 2:30 pm.

Return to the Front page
Print Friendly

Comments are closed.